The effect of feed deprivation at four water temperatures (17, 20, 23, 26 °C) was investigated in meagre (Argyrosomus regius) of initial mean weight ± SD, 116.16 ± 4.74 g, in triplicate groups. Fish were deprived of feed for a period of 60 days and sampled on days 0, 14, 41, and 60, during which body weight, specific growth rate, somatic indices, muscle proximate composition, plasma metabolite levels (total lipids, proteins, cholesterol, triglycerides, glucose), and liver and muscle enzymatic activities [L-lactate dehydrogenase (L-LDH), citrate synthase (CS), malate dehydrogenase (MDH)] were evaluated. Long-term feed deprivation resulted in a significant decrease in body weight, condition factor (CF), hepatosomatic index (HSI), muscle lipids, and plasma metabolites (all except proteins) and increase in muscle moisture. Plasma glucose concentration decreased with time and became significantly lower at 41 and 60 days. Glucose concentration and weight loss expressed a different response in the short term (14 days) than in the long term (14 and 60 days) of feed deprivation, suggesting a change in glucose metabolic profile. After 60 days of feed deprivation, there was an increase in the L-LDH activity in the liver at all temperature levels, which reflects a rising glycolytic potential by activating the carbohydrate metabolism and an ATP-dependent demand. MDH activity increased in the liver and muscle, except at 17 °C in the muscle, which indicates aerobic glycolysis and lipolysis. CS activity in the liver increased after the 60 days, whereas that in the muscle decreased, indicating the muscle is less dependent on aerobic oxidation for energy reserves.
Argyrosomus regiusFeed deprivation Fasting Starvation Metabolism Temperature
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Financial support for this study has been provided by the Ministry of Education, Lifelong Learning and Religious Affairs, General Secretariat for Research and Technology, Greece, under the call “Cooperation” of the National Strategic Reference Framework 2007–2013 (SYN09-24-424) to Dr. Constantinos C. Mylonas, titled “Development of methods for re-production and rearing of meagre (Argyrosomus regius) as a means for the enhancement of the competitiveness of aquaculture, with the introduction of new species.”
Compliance with ethical standards
HCMR installations at Crete are licensed facilities for operations of breeding and experimentation use of fish issued by the region of Crete, General Directorate of Agricultural and Veterinary, under the updated license no. 3989/01.03.2017. Experimental protocols of starvation as well as surgery and sacrifice conditions were approved under the license numbers EL91-BIO-03 and EL91-BIO-04, following the Greek Presidential Degree No. 56/2013 and Official Journal of the Greek Government No. 106/30 April 2013 on the protection of animals used for scientific purposes.
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