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Open AccessArticle

Honey Bee Pollen in Meagre (Argyrosomus regius) Juvenile Diets: Effects on Growth, Diet Digestibility, Intestinal Traits, and Biochemical Markers Related to Health and Stress

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Department of Veterinary Medicine and Animal Production, University of Napoli Federico II, Via F. Delpino 1, 80137 Napoli, Italy
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Institute of Marine Biology, Biotechnology and Aquaculture, Hellenic Centre for Marine Research, Gournes Pediados P.O. Box 2214,71003 Heraklion, Crete, Greece
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DiSTeM, Marine Biochemistry and Ecotoxicology Laboratory, University of Palermo, Via G. Barlotta 4, 91100 Trapani, Italy
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Department of sea science, University Polytechnic of Marche, via Brecce Bianche, 60100 Ancona, Italy
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Consorzio Universitario della Provincia di Trapani, Institute of Marine Biology, Via G. Barlotta 4, 91100 Trapani, Italy
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Animals 2020, 10(2), 231; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani10020231
Received: 23 December 2019 / Revised: 28 January 2020 / Accepted: 29 January 2020 / Published: 31 January 2020
Recently, several studies have focused on the use of nutraceuticals and honey bee products to improve the welfare and sustainability of animal husbandry. Honey bee pollen is rich in bioactive substances, presenting a strong antioxidant activity with possible positive effects on growth performance and non-specific immune responses in reared fish. Despite its favorable characteristics, the addition of honey bee pollen to a meagre (Argyrosomus regius) diet in our trial resulted in a reduction of growth performances and diet digestibility, histological alterations of intestinal morphology, and high levels of biomolecular stress markers, probably due to its complex ultrastructure, which is indigestible for monogastric animals. These negative effects could be overcome by using bioactive component extraction methods and thus eliminating the indigestible fractions. Our results confirmed the general assumption that it should always be considered necessary to test nutraceutical additives of natural origin in a given species in order to verify the effective positive action and exclude any negative repercussions on animal health.
This research aimed to evaluate the effects of the inclusion of honey bee pollen (HBP) in meagre (Argyrosoumus regius) juveniles’ diets on growth performance, diet digestibility, intestinal morphology, and immunohistochemistry. Furthermore, stress-related molecular markers and biochemical blood profile of fish were evaluated, together with mineral trace and toxic element concentration in pollen and diets. Specimens of meagre (360) of 3.34 ± 0.14 g initial body weight, were randomly allocated to twelve 500 L circular tanks (30 fish per tank). Four diets were formulated: a control diet and three experimental diets with 1%, 2.5%, and 4% of HBP inclusion. All the growth parameters and crude protein and ether extract digestibility coefficients were negatively linearly affected by increased HBP inclusion (p < 0.0001). Histology of medium intestine showed slight signs of alterations in group HPB1 and HPB2.5 compared to control. Fish from HBP4 group showed severe alterations at the intestinal mucosa level. Immunohistochemical detection of TNF-α in the medium intestine showed the presence of TNF-α+ cells in the lamina propria, which resulted in accordance with the increased level of the TNF-α protein detected by immunoblotting in the liver. This stress situation was confirmed by the increased hepatic level of HSP70 (p < 0.05) in fish fed the HBP4 diet and by the linear decrease of total serum protein levels in HBP-containing diets (p < 0.0001). These negative effects can be related to the ultrastructure of the bee pollen grain walls, which make the bioactive substances unavailable and can irritate the intestine of a carnivorous fish such as meagre. View Full-Text
Keywords: meagre; honey bee pollen; growth trial; digestibility trial; TNF-α; HSP70; intestinal immunohistochemistry; toxic elements; trace elements; total serum protein meagre; honey bee pollen; growth trial; digestibility trial; TNF-α; HSP70; intestinal immunohistochemistry; toxic elements; trace elements; total serum protein
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Panettieri, V.; Chatzifotis, S.; Messina, C.M.; Olivotto, I.; Manuguerra, S.; Randazzo, B.; Ariano, A.; Bovera, F.; Santulli, A.; Severino, L.; Piccolo, G. Honey Bee Pollen in Meagre (Argyrosomus regius) Juvenile Diets: Effects on Growth, Diet Digestibility, Intestinal Traits, and Biochemical Markers Related to Health and Stress. Animals 2020, 10, 231.

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