Astaxanthin enhances hematology, antioxidant and immunological parameters, immune-related gene expression, and disease resistance against in Channa argus

  • Mu-Yang Li
  • Xin-Yu Liu
  • Chang-Ge Xia
  • Gui-Qin WangEmail author
  • Dong-Ming Zhang


The present study was aimed to add 0, 50, or 100 mg/kg of astaxanthin (AST) to the basal diet of Channa argus and determine the effects on hematology, antioxidant and immunological parameters, immune-related genes expression, and disease resistance. Adding 50 or 100 mg/kg AST significantly enhanced (P < 0.05) Hb content at 14, 21, and 28 days and also the levels of Ht and RBC at 21 and 28 days. Supplementing 50 or 100 mg/kg of AST for 21 and 28 days significantly increased (P < 0.05) the level of serum antioxidant enzymes (SOD, CAT, and GSH-Px) or decreased (P < 0.05) serum MDA content. The level of serum lysozyme significantly enhanced (P < 0.05) at 28 days and also IgM and C3 at 21 days in 100 mg/kg AST treatment and at 28 days in 50 or 100 mg/kg AST treatment. Meanwhile, 50 and 100 mg/kg AST treatment significantly upregulated (P < 0.05) the expression of HSP70, HSP90, IκB-α, and GR or downregulated NF-κB p65 and inflammatory cytokines (TNF-α, IL-1β, and IL-8) transcription at 21 and 28 days. Fish fed 50 and 100 mg/kg AST enhanced (P < 0.05) disease resistance against Aeromonas hydrophila (survival rate 51.0% and 58.0%, respectively). The present results suggested that AST enhanced hematology and serum antioxidant and immune response, regulated immune-related gene expression, and increased disease resistance against A. hydrophila in C. argus.


Astaxanthin Disease resistance Immune response Channa argus 



The research was supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (No. 31372540).

Compliance with ethical standards

All experiments and handling of the animals were conducted according to the research protocols approved by the Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee, Jilin Agricultural University.

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.


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© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.College of Animal Science and TechnologyJilin Agricultural UniversityChangchunChina
  2. 2.Jilin Provincial Key Laboratory of Animal Nutrition and Feed ScienceJilin Agricultural UniversityChangchunChina
  3. 3.Xin Li Cheng Reservoir Administration Bureau of Jilin ProvinceChangchunChina

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