Effects of dietary inclusion of Moringa oleifera leaves on growth and some systemic and mucosal immune parameters of seabream

Fish Physiol Biochem. 2018 Aug;44(4):1223-1240. doi: 10.1007/s10695-018-0515-z. Epub 2018 May 25.


The effect of the dietary incorporation of drumstick, Moringa oleifera, leaf meal (MOL; 0, 5, 10 and 15%) on the growth, feed utilization, some skin mucus and systemic immune parameters and intestinal immune-related gene expression in gilthead seabream (Sparus aurata) specimens. The experiment lasted 4 weeks. The results revealed that MOL can be incorporated in S. aurata diet up to 10% with no significant negative effect on growth and feed utilization. However, there was a significant decrease with MOL at a level of 15% after 2 weeks of feeding. The systemic immune status of fish fed with the different levels of MOL showed an improvement in head kidney leucocyte phagocytosis, respiratory burst and peroxidase activities. Also, serum humoral components, including protease, ACH50 and lysozyme activities and IgM level, increased with MOL inclusion especially at the 5% level. MOL at 5% improved skin-mucosal immunity such as protease, antiprotease, peroxidase and lysozyme activities. Moreover, the feeding of MOL revealed an upregulation of the intestinal mucosal immunity genes (lyso and c3), tight junction proteins (occludin and zo-1) and anti-inflammatory cytokines (tgf-β) with a downregulation of pro-inflammatory cytokine (tnf-α). Therefore, it is recommended to incorporate MOL in S. aurata diets at a level of 5% for the best immune status or 10% for the high growth performance and acceptable immune surveillance. Graphical abstract ᅟ.

Keywords: Gilthead seabream (Sparus aurata); Growth; Innate immune response; Intestinal immune genes; Moringa oleifera; Mucosal immunity.

MeSH terms

  • Animal Feed / analysis*
  • Animals
  • Diet / veterinary*
  • Dietary Supplements
  • Gene Expression Regulation / drug effects
  • Immunity, Innate
  • Immunity, Mucosal
  • Moringa oleifera / chemistry*
  • Plant Leaves / chemistry*
  • Sea Bream / immunology*
  • Sea Bream / metabolism