Hepatic Glucose Metabolism and Its Disorders in Fish. Chapter uri icon


  • Carbohydrate, which is the most abundant nutrient in plant-sourced feedstuffs, is an economically indispensable component in commercial compound feeds for fish. This nutrient can enhance the physical quality of diets and allow for pellet expansion during extrusion. There is compelling evidence that an excess dietary intake of starch causes hepatic disorders, thereby further reducing the overall food consumption and growth performance of fish species. Among the severe metabolic disturbances are glycogenic hepatopathy (hepatomegaly caused by the excessive accumulation of glycogenin hepatocytes) and hepaticsteatosis (the accumulation of large vacuoles of triacylglycerols in hepatocytes). The development of those disorders is mainly due to the limited ability of fish to oxidize glucose and control blood glucose concentration. The prolonged elevations of blood glucose increase glucose intake by the liver, and excess glucose is stored either as glycogen through glycogenesis in hepatocytes or as triglycerides via lipogenesis in tissues, depending on the species. In some fish species(e.g., largemouth bass), the liver has a low ability to regulate glycolysis, gluconeogenesis, and glycogen breakdown in response to high starch intake. For most species of fish, the liver size increases with lipid or glycogen accumulation when they have a high starch intake. It is a challenge to develop the same set of diagnostic criteria for all fish species as their physiology or metabolic patterns differ. Although glycogenic hepatopathy appears to be a common disease in carnivorous fish, it has been under-recognized in many studies. As a result, understanding these diseases and their pathogeneses in different fish species is crucial for manufacturing cost-effective pellet diets to promote the health, growth,survival, and feed efficiency of fish in future.

author list (cited authors)

  • Li, X., Han, T., Zheng, S., & Wu, G.

citation count

  • 8

complete list of authors

  • Li, Xinyu||Han, Tao||Zheng, Shixuan||Wu, Guoyao

Book Title

  • Recent Advances in Animal Nutrition and Metabolism

publication date

  • January 2022