Dietary nucleotides influence immune responses and intestinal morphology of red drum Sciaenops ocellatus. Academic Article uri icon


  • Dietary nucleotides have been shown to benefit many physiological and nutritional functions in higher vertebrates and fish. Therefore, a 6-week feeding trial was conducted to evaluate the effects of graded levels of a commercial nucleotide product on growth performance, immune responses and intestinal morphology of juvenile red drum (initial average weight of 7.1g). The basal diet was formulated to contain 40% protein, 10% lipid and a digestible energy level of 3.5 kcal g(-1). Two levels of nucleotide (Ascogen P(), 0.5% and 1% of diet) were added to the basal diet with menhaden fishmeal and menhaden oil adjusted to provide isonitrogenous and isolipidic diets. Nucleotide supplementation tended to improve weight gain and survival of red drum, but not at a significant level. Neutrophil oxidative radical anion production and serum lysozyme activity tended to be higher for fish fed diets supplemented with nucleotide, while extracellular superoxide anion production of head kidney macrophages from fish fed diets with 1% nucleotide was significantly (P<0.05) increased, although no significant differences were observed between fish fed 0.5% nucleotide diet and the basal diet. Nucleotide supplementation significantly (P<0.05) increased fold height in the proximal intestine, and enterocyte height in the pyloric caeca, proximal and distal enteric sections. A significantly (P<0.05) higher microvilli height was observed in all evaluated enteric sections of fish fed with diets supplemented with nucleotides. It is therefore possible to use dietary nucleotides supplementation to significantly enhance the intestinal structure of red drum. Likewise, nucleotides in the diet may improve some components of the non-specific immune response of this sciaenid fish.

published proceedings

  • Fish Shellfish Immunol

author list (cited authors)

  • Cheng, Z., Buentello, A., & Gatlin, D. M.

citation count

  • 85

complete list of authors

  • Cheng, Zhenyan||Buentello, Alejandro||Gatlin, Delbert M

publication date

  • January 2011