Effects of dietary protein intake on the oxidation of glutamate, glutamine, glucose and palmitate in tissues of largemouth bass (Micropterus salmoides).
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Largemouth bass (Micropterus salmoides, a carnivorous fish native to North America) prefers to utilize amino acids as energy sources rather than glucose and fatty acids. However, little is known about the nutritional regulation of substrate oxidation in the fish. Therefore, this study was conducted to determine whether the oxidation of glutamate, glutamine, glucose and palmitate in its tissues might be influenced by dietary protein intake. Juvenile largemouth bass (initial weight 18.30.1g) were fed three isocaloric diets containing 40%, 45% and 50% protein for 8weeks. The growth performance, energy retention, and lipid retention of juvenile fish increased with increasing dietary protein levels. The rate of oxidation of glutamate by the intestine was much greater than that of glutamine, explaining why increasing the dietary protein content from 40% to 50% had no effect on the serum concentration of glutamate but increased that of glutamine in the fish. The liver of fish fed the 50% protein diet had a higher (P<0.05) rate of glutamine oxidation than that in the 40% and 45% protein groups. In contrast, augmenting dietary protein content from 40% to 45% increased (P < 0.05) both glutamine and glutamate oxidation in the proximal intestine of the fish and renal glutamine oxidation, without changes in intestinal or renal AA oxidation between the 45% and 50% protein groups. Furthermore, the rates of glucose oxidation in the liver, kidney, and intestine of largemouth bass were decreased in response to an increase in dietary protein content from 40% to 45% and a concomitant decrease in dietary starch content from 22.3% to 15.78%, but did not differ between the 45% and 50% protein groups. The rates of oxidation of glucose in skeletal muscle and those of palmitate in all tissues (except for the kidney) were not affected by the diets. Collectively, these results indicate that the largemouth bass can regulate substrate metabolism in a tissue-specific manner to favor protein and lipid gains as dietary protein content increases from 40% to 50% and have a lower ability to oxidize fatty acids and glucose than amino acids regardless of the dietary protein intake.