Time-related changes of the intestinal morphology of Atlantic salmon, Salmo salar L., at two different soybean meal inclusion levels

P. Urán, J.W. Schrama, J.H.W.M. Rombout, J.J. Taverne-Thiele, A. Obach, W. Koppe, J.A.J. Verreth

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66 Citations (Scopus)


Abstract Soybean meal (SBM) induces enteritis in the distal intestine of Atlantic salmon. The present study assesses the effects of SBM concentrations on the kinetics of the enteritis process. Fish of 300 g, kept at 12 degrees C, were fed diets with different SBM inclusions: 0%, 10% and 20% SBM for 57 days. Samples of the distal intestine of five fish per treatment were taken for histological and electron microscopical analysis. A semi-quantitative scoring system was used to assess the degree of the morphological changes induced by SBM feeding in the distal intestinal epithelium. The first signs of enteritis appeared earlier in the salmon fed the 20SBM diet than in those fed the 10SBM diet. Thereafter, the condition increased steadily, displaying no signs of recovery. Furthermore, at the lower concentration, the process marking the onset of enteritis began more gradually than at the higher concentration and it displayed a tendency to stabilize after 13-20 days of continuous feeding. Electron microscopy indicated that the endocytosis process was hampered at day 3 of 20SBM and at 7 days of 10SBM. Furthermore, a strong reduction of microvilli was already evident after 7 days of 20SBM feeding, thus indicating a decreased uptake capacity of the distal enterocytes. In addition, transformation and migration of eosinophilic granulocytes was observed, which, in combination with the lysozyme C immunoreactivity supports their protective role during the inflammatory process in the distal gut of Atlantic salmon. It can be concluded that the severity of enteritis and its kinetics are concentration-dependent, showing no signs of recovery during feeding with diets containing SBM
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)733-744
JournalJournal of Fish Diseases
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - 2009


  • eosinophilic granule cells
  • trout oncorhynchus-mykiss
  • carp cyprinus-carpio
  • rainbow-trout
  • distal intestine
  • immunocytochemical localization
  • induced enteritis
  • mast-cells
  • responses
  • fish

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