Aquaculture International

, Volume 27, Issue 6, pp 1643–1654 | Cite as

Saprolegnia parasitica impairs branchial phosphoryl transfer network in naturally infected grass carp (Ctenopharyngodon idella): prejudice on bioenergetic homeostasis

  • Matheus D. BaldisseraEmail author
  • Carine de Freitas Souza
  • Lorenzo B. Abbad
  • Maria Izabel U. M. da Rocha
  • Marcelo L. da Veiga
  • Aleksandro S. da Silva
  • Bernardo Baldisserotto


Precise coupling of spatially separated intracellular adenosine triphosphate (ATP) producing and ATP-consuming exerts a key role in bioenergetic balance, and the phosphoryl transfer network, catalyzed by creatine kinase (CK), adenylate kinase (AK), and pyruvate kinase (PK), is fundamental in energetic homeostasis of tissues with high-energy requirements, as the branchial tissue. This whole system is very sensitive, and our hypothesis is that it can be altered in cases of infectious diseases in fish, such as that caused by the oomycete Saprolegnia parasitica. The effects of S. parasitica infection on gills remain poorly understood and limited only to histopathological studies. Thus, the aim of this study was to evaluate whether natural infection by S. parasitica impairs the enzymes of the phosphoryl transfer network in gills of grass carp (Ctenopharyngodon idella), as well as the pathways involved in this inhibition. In this study, we used sick carp and compared to healthy carp, fish of similar age and receiving the same feed, but allocated in different tanks. Branchial CK (cytosolic and mitochondrial) activity and ATP levels decreased in infected fish compared to uninfected on day 7 post-infection (PI), while no significant difference was observed between groups regarding branchial AK and PK activities. Branchial sodium-potassium ion pump (Na+, K+-ATPase) activity decreased in infected carp compared to uninfected on day 7 PI, while reactive oxygen species (ROS) and thiobarbituric acid reactive substance (TBARS) levels were higher. Gill histopathology revealed massive necrosis, loss of branchial epithelium, and detachment of the epithelium interlayer with structural loss of secondary lamellae. Based on these data, the impairment of CK activity elicited by S. parasitica caused an impairment in branchial energetic homeostasis, reducing the ATP availability in the gills and provoking an impairment on Na+, K+-ATPase activity. Moreover, the inhibition on CK activity appears to be mediated by ROS overproduction and lipid peroxidation, which contribute to disease pathogenesis linked to branchial tissue.


ATPase Creatine kinase Lipid damage ROS Saprolegniosis 


Funding information

This study was financed in part by the Coordenação de Aperfeiçoamento de Pessoal de Nível Superior, Brazil (CAPES) - Finance Code 001 (PhD fellowship to M.D. Baldissera and post doc fellowship to C.F. Souza). A. S. Da Silva and B. Baldisserotto are funded by CNPq (Conselho Nacional de Desenvolvimento Científico e Tecnológico) research fellowships and L.B. Abbad by a FAPERGS (Fundação de Amparo à Pesquisa do Estado do Rio Grande do Sul) undergraduate fellowship.

Compliance with ethical standards

Ethical approval

All applicable international, national, and/or institutional guidelines for the care and use of animals were followed by the authors, and were approved by the Ethical and Animal Welfare Committee of the Universidade do Estado de Santa Catarina (1672070519).

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Matheus D. Baldissera
    • 1
    Email author
  • Carine de Freitas Souza
    • 1
  • Lorenzo B. Abbad
    • 1
  • Maria Izabel U. M. da Rocha
    • 2
  • Marcelo L. da Veiga
    • 2
  • Aleksandro S. da Silva
    • 3
  • Bernardo Baldisserotto
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Physiology and PharmacologyUniversidade Federal de Santa MariaSanta MariaBrazil
  2. 2.Department of MorphologyUniversidade Federal de Santa Maria (UFSM)Santa MariaBrazil
  3. 3.Department of Animal ScienceUniversidade do Estado de Santa CatarinaChapecóBrazil

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