Aloysia triphylla in the zebrafish food: effects on physiology, behavior, and growth performance
Dietary supplements are commonly used by animals and humans and play key roles in diverse systems, such as the immune and reproductive systems, and in metabolism. Essential oils (EOs), which are natural substances, have potential for use in food supplementation; however, their effects on organisms remain to be elucidated. Here, we examine the effects of dietary Aloysia triphylla EO supplementation on zebrafish behavior, metabolism, stress response, and growth performance. We show that fish fed diets containing A. triphylla EO presented an anxiolytic response, with reduced exploratory activity and oxygen consumption; no changes were observed in neuroendocrine stress axis functioning and growth was not impaired. Taken together, these results suggest that the A. triphylla EO supplementation is a strong candidate for use in feed, since it ensures fish welfare (anxiolytic behavior) with decreased oxygen consumption. This makes it suitable for use in high-density production systems without causing damage to the neuroendocrine stress axis and without growth performance being impaired.
KeywordsCortisol Anxiety Oxygen consumption Zebrafish Welfare
The authors thank Denis Rosemberg from the Departamento de Bioquímica e Biologia Molecular, Universidade Federal de Santa Maria, for help on data analysis.
This work was supported by CNPq (Conselho Nacional de Desenvolvimento Científico e Tecnológico, Brazil). M. A. Cunha (310762/2014-6), B. Baldisserotto (301156/2012-3), L.J.G. Barcellos (301992/2014-2), L.F. Marins (305928/2015-5), and B.M. Heinzmann (306449/2015-3) are recipients of CNPq fellowship grants.
Compliance with ethical standards
The experimental protocol was approved by the Ethical and Animal Welfare Committee of the FURG under registration no. P002/2014.
Conflict of interest
The authors declare that they have no conflicts of interest.
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