Fish Physiology and Biochemistry

, Volume 43, Issue 4, pp 1161–1174 | Cite as

Vitamin D3 affects innate immune status of European sea bass (Dicentrarchus labrax L.)

  • M. Dioguardi
  • F. A. Guardiola
  • M. Vazzana
  • A. Cuesta
  • M. A. Esteban
  • M. Cammarata


The effects of vitamin D3 dietary administration on certain innate immune parameters on the expression of immune-related genes in head-kidney (HK) and gut were investigated in European sea bass Dicentrarchus labrax. Vitamin D3 (vD3) was orally administered to fish in a commercial pellet food supplemented with 0 (control); 3750; 18,750; or 37,500 U kg−1. Furthermore, gut histology was considered. This study showed a modulation in the activities examined in fish fed with the addition of vD3. After just 2 weeks of administration, diet supplementation with the vitamin resulted in increased phagocytic ability, while serum peroxidase content was increased in fish fed with all experimental diets after 4 weeks, no significant differences were observed in protease, anti-protease, natural haemolytic complement activities and total IgM level. At gene level, fbl and rbl transcripts were up-regulated in HK in fish fed with the highest concentration of vD3-supplemented diets after 4 weeks, while in the gut, an up-regulation of hep gene was observed in fish fed with the different doses of vD3. These results suggest that vD3 may be of great interest for immunostimulatory purposes in fish farms.


Cholecalciferol (vitamin D3Innate immunity European sea bass (Dicentrarchus labrax L.) Teleost 



This work was supported by grants from MC RITMARE project (CNR and CONISMA). The financial support of the Spanish Ministerio de Economía y Competitividad under grant no. AGL-2011-30381-C03-01 and of Fundación Séneca de la Región de Murcia (Spain) (grant no. 04538/GERM/06, Grupo de Excelencia de la Región de Murcia) is gratefully acknowledged. F.A. Guardiola benefited from grant by Fundação para a Ciência e Tecnologia, Portugal (SFRH/BPD/104497/2014).

Compliance with ethical standards

The experiments were performed in full compliance with the national rules (D. Lgs 116/92 and subsequent amendments) and the international European Commission Recommendation guidelines for the accommodation and care of animals used for experimental and other scientific purposes (2007/526/EC).


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • M. Dioguardi
    • 1
  • F. A. Guardiola
    • 2
  • M. Vazzana
    • 1
  • A. Cuesta
    • 3
  • M. A. Esteban
    • 3
  • M. Cammarata
    • 1
  1. 1.Biological Chemical Pharmaceutical Sciences and TechnologiesUniversity of PalermoPalermoItaly
  2. 2.Fish Nutrition & Immunobiology Group, Centro Interdisciplinar de Investigação Marinha e Ambiental (CIIMAR)PortoPortugal
  3. 3.Fish Innate Immune System Group, Department of Cell Biology and Histology, Faculty of Biology, Campus Regional de Excelencia Internacional “Campus Mare Nostrum”University of MurciaMurciaSpain

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