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Fish Shellfish Immunol. 2012 Sep;33(3):582-9. doi: 10.1016/j.fsi.2012.06.025. Epub 2012 Jul 9.

Type of carbohydrate in feed affects the expression of small leucine-rich proteoglycans (SLRPs), glycosaminoglycans (GAGs) and interleukins in skeletal muscle of Atlantic cod (Gadus morhua L.).

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  • 1Nofima AS, Osloveien 1, 1430 Aas, Norway.


Aquaculture requires feed that ensures rapid growth and healthy fish. Higher inclusion of plant ingredients is desirable, as marine resources are limited. In this study we investigated the effects of higher starch inclusion in feed on muscular extracellular matrix and interleukin expression in farmed cod. Starch was replaced by complex fibers in the low-starch diet to keep total carbohydrate inclusion similar. Blood glucose and fructosamine levels were elevated in the high-starch group. The group fed a high-starch diet showed up-regulation on mRNA level of proteoglycans biglycan and decorin. ELISA confirmed the real-time PCR results on protein level for biglycan and also showed increase of lumican. For decorin the protein levels were decreased in the high-starch group, in contrast to real-time PCR results. Disaccharide analyses using HPLC showed reduction of glycosaminoglycans. Further, there was up-regulation of interleukin-1β and -10 on mRNA level in muscle. This study shows that the muscular extracellular matrix composition is affected by diet, and that a high-starch diet results in increased expression of pro-inflammatory genes similar to diabetes in humans.

Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

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