A novel approach for assessing protein synthesis in channel catfish, Ictalurus punctatus. Academic Article uri icon


  • A comprehensive understanding of animal growth requires adequate knowledge of protein synthesis (PS), which in fish, has traditionally been determined by the flooding dose method. However, this procedure is limited to short-term assessments and may not accurately describe fish growth over extended periods of time. Since deuterium oxide ((2)H(2)O) has been used to non-invasively quantify PS in mammals over short- and long-term periods, we aimed at determining if (2)H(2)O could also be used to measure PS in channel catfish. Fish were stocked in a 40-L aquarium with approximately 4% (2)H(2)O and sampled at 4, 8 and 24h (n=6 at each time period) to determine (2)H-labeling of body water (plasma), as well as protein-free and protein-bound (2)H-labeled alanine. The labeling of body water reflected that of aquarium water and the labeling of protein-free alanine remained constant over 24h and was approximately 3.8 times greater than that of body water. By measuring (2)H-labeled alanine incorporation after 24h of (2)H(2)O exposure we were able to calculate a rate of PS: 0.04+/-0.01% h(-1). These results demonstrate that PS in fish can be effectively measured using (2)H(2)O and, because this method yields integrative measures of PS, is relatively inexpensive and accounts for perturbations such as feeding, it is a novel and practical assessment option.

published proceedings

  • Comp Biochem Physiol B Biochem Mol Biol

author list (cited authors)

  • Gasier, H. G., Previs, S. F., Pohlenz, C., Fluckey, J. D., Gatlin, D. M., & Buentello, J. A.

citation count

  • 23

complete list of authors

  • Gasier, Heath G||Previs, Stephen F||Pohlenz, Camilo||Fluckey, James D||Gatlin, Delbert M||Buentello, J Alejandro

publication date

  • January 2009