Nanoencapsulated Melaleuca alternifolia essential oil (tea tree oil, TTO) is a natural alternative treatment, with 100% therapeutic efficacy in fish experimentally infected with Pseudomonas aeruginosa, and has also potent protective effects linked with antioxidant properties. However, the pathways responsible for the antioxidant capacity remain unknown. Thus, this study evaluated whether the inhibition of seric xanthine oxidase (XO) activity can be considered a pathway involved in the antioxidant capacity of nanoencapsulated TTO in fish experimentally infected with P. aeruginosa. Seric samples from fish infected with P. aeruginosa showed increased XO activity, as well as increased uric acid and reactive oxygen species (ROS) levels. In contrast, the prophylactic treatment with nanoencapsulated TTO prevented these infection-induced alterations. Based on the evidence obtained, the upregulation of seric XO activity induced pro-oxidative effects in the serum of fish experimentally infected with P. aeruginosa, due to excessive formation of uric acid, which stimulates the release of ROS. This treatment was able to prevent the upregulated seric XO activity and, consequently, the excessive formation of uric acid and ROS. In summary, inhibition of seric XO activity can be considered a pathway involved in the antioxidant capacity of nanoencapsulated TTO in fish experimentally infected with P. aeruginosa.
Keywords: antioxidant capacity; fish disease; purinergic pathway; tea tree oil.
© 2018 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.