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Fish Shellfish Immunol. 2001 Jul;11(5):371-82.

Dietary organic chromium supplementation and its effect on the immune response of rainbow trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss).

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  • 1Dipartimento di Morfofisiologia Veterinaria e Produzioni Animali, Universit√† degli Studi di Bologna, Italy.


Recently, there has been an increasing interest in the potential effect of dietary chromium on the health of fish, particularly with respect to their metabolism and growth. Information as to the role of this mineral on their immune response, is limited however, so the aim of this study was to assess the effects of dietary chromium yeast supplementation on the immune response of rainbow trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss). Juvenile rainbow trout (56 g average weight) were fed three semipurified diets containing different levels of chromium (1540, 2340 and 4110 ppb), obtained by supplementing a basal diet with 800 or 2570 ppb chromium yeast, for 6 weeks. After this, time differences in their immune response were examined. A positive influence was observed on serum lysozyme activity at this time in fish maintained on the high chromium diet. The respiratory burst of head-kidney macrophages was also examined, and statistical differences were found in the level of respiratory burst elicited by macrophages from both groups of fish fed supplemented chromium after 3 and 6 weeks of feeding (absorbance at 3 weeks: 0.118, 0.166. 0.151 and 6 weeks 0.114, 0.168, 0.151 for the 1540, 2340 and 4110 ppb groups). Macrophages of fish receiving diets supplemented with chromium also had a greater ability to phagocytose yeast after 6 weeks than the control fish (40.5, 48 and 48.5% macrophages phagocytic in the 1540, 2340 and 4110 ppb groups, respectively). The results of the study show that chromium yeast is able to modulate the immune response of rainbow trout, and this effect appears to be both dose- and time-dependent.

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