Resveratrol is a naturally occurring antioxidant that has been widely studied in mammals due to its potential to extend lifespan. However, antioxidants may also limit protein damage and therefore reduce rates of protein degradation, providing a potential avenue for enhancing growth in an aquaculture setting. The present study tested the hypotheses that in Southern flounder, Paralichthys lethostigma, resveratrol would decrease protein carbonylation and 4-HNE (indicators of protein and lipid oxidative damage, respectively), levels of ubiquitinylation and LC3 (indicators of non-lysosomal and lysosomal protein degradation, respectively), while having no effect on S6K activation (indicator of protein synthesis). These effects were predicted to increase growth rate. Mitochondrial volume density was also examined since resveratrol may lead to the proliferation of mitochondria, which are the principal source of reactive oxygen species (ROS) that cause oxidative damage. Juvenile fish (n=142) were fed a control diet or a diet supplemented with 600 μg resveratrol per g of food for 16 weeks. Fish treated with resveratrol had a 9% greater length and 33% greater body mass than control fish after 16 weeks. Additionally, there was lower protein carbonylation and lipid 4-HNE within the muscle tissues of treated fish, indicating decreased oxidative damage, and reduced protein ubiquitinylation in the resveratrol fed flounder, indicating less protein degradation. However, there was not a significant difference in LC3, S6K activation, or mitochondrial volume density. These results suggest that resveratrol has positive effects on growth due to its antioxidant properties that reduce non-lysosomal protein degradation.
Keywords: Antioxidant; Fish; Protein degradation; Reactive oxygen species (ROS); Resveratrol.
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