The potential muscle regeneration after nutritional dystrophy caused by high dietary DHA contents in fish and the physiological pathways involved are still unknown. To better understand this process, an experiment was conducted for 3 weeks in 14 day-old European sea bass larvae using different DHA ratios (1 or 5%). After this period, part of the larvae fed 5% DHA diet was switched to 1% DHA diet ("wash-out") for another 2 weeks. Larvae fed 5% DHA diet showed altered oxidative status as indicated by the highest TBARS values, antioxidant enzymes (AOE) expression and incidence of muscular lesions. Accordingly, "washed-out" larvae showed lower dry weight and α-TOH content. IGF-I gene expression was elevated in 5% DHA larvae at 35 dph, suggesting increased muscle mitogenesis that was corroborated by the increase in myosin heavy chain expression. It can be concluded that high dietary DHA contents alter the oxidative status and cause muscular lesions in European sea bass larvae, with morphological and molecular aspects of mammalians muscular degenerative disease.
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