Fish Physiology and Biochemistry

, Volume 43, Issue 4, pp 1131–1141 | Cite as

Dietary supplementation of curcumin augments heat stress tolerance through upregulation of nrf-2-mediated antioxidative enzymes and hsps in Puntius sophore

  • Arabinda Mahanty
  • Sasmita Mohanty
  • Bimal P. MohantyEmail author


Heat stress is one of the major environmental concerns in global warming regime and rising temperature has resulted in mass mortalities of animals including fishes. Therefore, strategies for high temperature stress tolerance and ameliorating the effects of heat stress are being looked for. In an earlier study, we reported that Nrf-2 (nuclear factor E2-related factor 2) mediated upregulation of antioxidative enzymes and heat shock proteins (Hsps) provide survivability to fish under heat stress. In this study, we have evaluated the ameliorative potential of dietary curcumin, a potential Nrf-2 inducer in heat stressed cyprinid Puntius sophore. Fishes were fed with diet supplemented with 0.5, 1.0, and 1.5% curcumin at the rate 2% of body weight daily in three separate groups (n = 40 in each group) for 60 days. Fishes fed with basal diet (without curcumin) served as the control (n = 40). Critical thermal maxima (CTmax) was determined for all the groups (n = 10, in duplicates) after the feeding trial. Significant increase in the CTmax was observed in the group fed with 1.5% curcumin- supplemented fishes whereas it remained similar in groups fed with 0.5%, and 1% curcumin-supplemented diet, as compared to control. To understand the molecular mechanism of elevated thermotolerance in the 1.5% curcumin supplemented group, fishes were given a sub-lethal heat shock treatment (36 °C) for 6 h and expression analysis of nrf-2, keap-1, sod, catalase, gpx, and hsp27, hsp60, hsp70, hsp90, and hsp110 was carried out using RT-PCR. In the gill, expression of nrf-2, sod, catalase, gpx, and hsp60, hsp70, hsp90, and hsp110 was found to be elevated in the 1.5% curcumin-fed heat-shocked group compared to control and the basal diet-fed, heat-shocked fishes. Similarly, in the liver, upregulation in expression of nrf-2, sod, catalase, and hsp70 and hsp110 was observed in 1.5% curcumin supplemented and heat shocked group. Thus, this study showed that supplementation of curcumin augments tolerance to high temperature stress in P. sophore that could be attributed to nrf-2-induced upregulation of antioxidative enzymes sod, catalase, gpx, and the hsps.


Heat stress nrf-2 Antioxidative enzymes hsp genes Curcumin Puntius sophore 



This research was funded by the Indian Council of Agricultural Research under the National Fund for Basic, Strategic and Frontier Application Research in Agriculture (NFBSFARA; recently renamed National Agricultural Science Fund, NASF) Project No. AS-2001 (B.P.M. and S.M). A.M. is thankful to NFBSFARA for the Senior Research Fellowship. The authors are thankful to Director, ICAR - Central Inland Fisheries Research Institute, Barrackpore, and Director, School of Biotechnology, KIIT University, Bhubaneswar, for the facilities and encouragement. The authors are thankful to Dr. M. A. Hasan and Mr. Subhadeep Das Gupta (Principal Scientist and Technical Assistant respectively), ICAR-CIFRI, for helping in feed preparation. Technical assistance provided by Mr. Laddu Ram Mahaver and Mr. S. K. Pal is acknowledged. The authors would like to acknowledge the anonymous reviewers for critically reviewing the manuscript; the constructive suggestions from the reviewers have resulted in substantial improvement of the manuscript.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Arabinda Mahanty
    • 1
    • 2
  • Sasmita Mohanty
    • 2
  • Bimal P. Mohanty
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.Fishery Resource and Environmental Management Division, Biochemistry LaboratoryICAR - Central Inland Fisheries Research InstituteKolkataIndia
  2. 2.School of BiotechnologyKIIT UniversityBhubaneswarIndia

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