Environmentally-realistic concentration of cadmium combined with polyunsaturated fatty acids enriched diets modulated non-specific immunity in rainbow trout

Valérie Cornet, Abderrahim Ouaach, Robert Mandiki, Enora Flamion, Aline Ferain, Mélusine Van Larebeke, Benjamin Lemaire, LLuis Tort, Patrick Kestemont

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Nutrition is crucial to grow healthy fish particularly in a context of pollution, overcrowding and pathogen risks. Nowadays, the search for food components able to improve fish health is increasingly developing. Here, the influence of four dietary polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs) that are alpha-linolenic acid (ALA, 18:3n-3), linoleic acid (LA, 18:2n-6), eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA, 20:5n-3) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA, 22:6n-3) on the sensitivity of rainbow trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss) juveniles to environmentally realistic cadmium (Cd, 0.3 μg/L) concentration was investigated. Fish diets were designed to ensure the specific abundance of one of these individual PUFAs, and were given for a 4-week pre-conditioning period followed by a 6-week Cd exposure period. Focus was put on growth performance and immune responses following a short (24 h) and a long-term (6 weeks) Cd exposure. For each experimental condition, some fish were submitted to a bacterial challenge (24 h) with Aeromonas salmonicida achromogenes at the end of Cd conditioning period. DHA-enriched diet improved growth performances as compared to LA-enriched diet, but also increased ROS production (after short-term exposure to Cd) that could lead to a higher inflammation status, and some immunity-related genes (at short and long-term exposure). We notably highlighted the fact that even a low, environmentally-realistic concentration, Cd can strongly impact the immune system of rainbow trout, and that specific dietary PUFA enrichment strategies can improve growth performance (DHA-enriched diet), provide protection against oxidative stress (ALA- and EPA-enriched diet) and stimulate non-specific immunity.

Translated title of the contributionRéponse physiologique et immunitaire de juvéniles de truite arc-en-ciel nourris avec un régime alimentaire enrichi en lactoferrine bovine
Original languageEnglish
Article number359-371
Pages (from-to)104-116
Number of pages13
JournalAquatic toxicology (Amsterdam, Netherlands)
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2018


  • Ecotoxicology
  • Immunity
  • Polyunsaturated fatty acids
  • Trace element


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