Journal: Fish Physiology & Biochemistry, vol. 30, p. 149–161, 2004
International Standard Numbers:
Open Access: none
As the supply of marine fish oil is becoming a limiting factor in the production of Atlantic salmon ( Salmo salar), new diets and alternative sources of energy are being tested. Plant oils are natural potential candidates to replace fish oil, but the different levels of essential polyunsaturated fatty acids may influence the health and growth of salmon. In this study, we have investigated the resistance to transport stress and bacterial infection, phagocytic activity in head kidney macrophages and eicosanoid metabolism in salmon fed three different diets. In high-energy fishmeal based diets, 50% and 100% of the supplementary fish oil (FO) was replaced with soybean oil ( SO). The three dietary groups were fed for 950 day-degrees at 5 degrees C ( 27 weeks) and 12 degrees C ( 11 weeks) before challenging the fish with Aeromonas salmonicida, analyzing the lipid composition of head kidney and examining macrophage function in vivo and in vitro. Dietary fatty acids affected the lipid composition of the kidney. The level of eicosanoid precursor's 20: 4n-6 and 20: 3n-6 were 3 and 7-fold higher in the 100% SO group compared with the FO group. The total fraction of n-3 lipids in kidney was 19% in the SO group, compared to 16% and 12% in the 50% or 100% SO groups, respectively. However, the production of leucotriene B-4 (LTB) and prostaglandin E-2 (PGE) immunoreactive materiel from exogenously added arachidonic acid in head kidney macrophages was only affected by the composite diet ( increased) at 5 degrees C. In addition, the phagocytic activity of kidney macrophages in vivo and in vitro was not affected by diet. No effect of diet was observed on transport stress or susceptibility to a bacterial infection with Aeromonas salmonicida. Atlantic salmon therefore seems to tolerate a diet solely based on soybean oil as lipid source, without any detrimental effects on growth, health and immune functions.