Ontogeny of the gastrointestinal tract of marine fish larvae

Type Article
Date 2001-12
Language English
Author(s) Zambonino-Infante Jose-LuisORCID, Cahu Chantal
Affiliation(s) IFREMER, INRA, Unite Mixte Nutr Poissons, F-29280 Plouzane, France.
Source Comparative Biochemistry and Physiology Part C: Toxicology & Pharmacology (1532-0456) (Elsevier), 2001-12 , Vol. 130 , N. 4 , P. 477-487
DOI 10.1016/S1532-0456(01)00274-5
WOS© Times Cited 320
Keyword(s) Proteins, Pancreatic enzymes, Lipids, Larvae feeds, Intestinal enzymes, Glucides, Fish larvae, Enzyme expression, Digestion, Development, Aquaculture
Abstract Marine fish larvae undergo major morphological and cellular changes during the first month of life. The ontogeny of the gastrointestinal tract combines these two aspects of the larval development and is very interesting in that the timing of functional changes appears genetically hard-wired. The goal of this paper is to give an overview of the gastrointestinal development process in marine fish larvae, with particular attention to three species: sea bass; red drum; and sole, since the description of gut maturation in fish larvae was initiated during the last decade with these species. During the early stages, marine fish larvae exhibit particular digestive features. Concerning the exocrine pancreas, amylase expression decreases with age from the third week post-hatching in sea bass and red drum (approximately 400 degree days), whereas expression of other enzymes (trypsin, lipase, phospholipase A2...) increases until the end of the larva period. Moreover, secretory function of the exocrine pancreas progressively develops and becomes efficient after the third week of life. Concerning the intestine, enzymes of the enterocyte cytosol (in particular peptidase) have higher activity in young larvae than in older. Approximately in the fourth week of post-hatching development in sea bass, red drum and sole larvae, the cytosolic activities dramatically decline concurrently with a sharp increase in membranous enzyme activities of the brush border, such as alkaline phosphatase, aminopeptidase N, maltase... This process characterises the normal maturation of enterocytes in developing fish larvae and also in other vertebrates' species. The establishment of an efficient brush border membrane digestion represents the adult mode of digestion of enterocytes. This paper also describes the role of diet on the development of the gastrointestinal tract. Indeed, the maturational process of digestive enzyme can be enhanced, stopped, or delayed depending on the composition of the diet.
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