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Increased Mauthner cell activity and escaping behaviour in seabream fed long-chain PUFA

Benitez-Santana T, Juarez-Carrillo E, Betancor M, Torrecillas S, Caballero MJ & Izquierdo MS (2012) Increased Mauthner cell activity and escaping behaviour in seabream fed long-chain PUFA. British Journal of Nutrition, 107 (2), pp. 295-301.

There is limited information on the specific effects of long-chain PUFA (LCPUFA) on neuron development and functioning. Deficiency of those essential fatty acids impairs escape and avoidance behaviour in fish, where Mauthner cells (M-cells) play a particularly important role in initiating this response. Gilthead seabream larvae fed two different LCPUFA profiles were challenged with a sonorous stimulus. Feeding n-3 LCPUFA increased the content of these fatty acids in fish tissues and caused a higher number of larvae to react to the stimulus with a faster burst swimming speed response. This faster startle response in fish fed n-3 LCPUFA was also associated with an increased immune-positive neural response, particularly in M-cells, denoting a higher production of acetylcholine. The present study shows the first evidence of the effect of n-3 LCPUFA on the functioning of particular neurons in fish, the M-cells and the behaviour response that they modulate to escape from a sound stimulus.

Mauthner cells; Fish larvae behaviour; Essential fatty acids; DHA; Burst swimming speed

British Journal of Nutrition: Volume 107, Issue 2

Author(s)Benitez-Santana, Tibiabin; Juarez-Carrillo, Eduardo; Betancor, Monica; Torrecillas, Silvia; Caballero, Maria Jose; Izquierdo, Marisol S
Publication date31/01/2012
PublisherCambridge University Press
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