Fish Physiology and Biochemistry

, Volume 33, Issue 4, pp 347–358 | Cite as

Effect of oral administration of l-thyroxine (T4) on growth performance, digestibility, and nutrient retention in Channa punctatus (Bloch) and Heteropneustes fossilis (Bloch)

  • S. K. Garg


Effects of oral administration of l-thyroxine (T4) on growth performance, body composition, and some aspects of nutritional physiology were investigated in two slow-growing air-breathing fish (Channa punctatus and Heteropneustes fossilis) under laboratory conditions (LD 12:12 at 25°C). The results indicate that irrespective of the species, fish fed diets containing lower doses of T4 (up to 50 mg kg−1 of diet in C. punctatus and up to 100 mg kg−1 of diet in H. fossilis) showed significantly (P < 0.05) higher growth (in terms of live weight and length gain, specific growth rate, percentage gain in body weight and condition factor), low feed conversion ratio, high nutrient retention, high apparent protein digestibility, and high digestive enzyme activity. Viscero-somatic (VSI) and hepato-somatic (HSI) values were also high in fish fed on low dietary T4 levels. Liver glycogen levels decreased with the increase in the dietary T4 levels, indicating its utilization during growth. Muscle glycogen levels in H. fossilis coincided with high growth at 100 mg of T4. Observation of the postprandial excretion of metabolites (N–NH4 + and o-PO4 ) indicated significantly (P < 0.05) low levels in aquaria water where the fish were fed diets with low T4 levels. These studies further revealed that feeding fishes on higher T4 levels (above 50 mg in C. punctatus and above 100 mg in H. fossilis) not only repressed growth performance and nutrient retention, but also affected carcass composition by lowering protein accumulation (muscle and carcass protein) and energy assimilation. These studies revealed a biphasic action of thyroxine, i.e., the hormone at lower doses is anabolic, while at higher doses it acts as a catabolic agent, indicating that feeding fishes on higher doses can be detrimental to their growth and metabolism. In summary, the results of the present study show that feeding H. fossilis and C. punctatus on low doses of T4 enhances growth, decreases excretion of metabolites, and increases nitrogen retention. These observations suggest that T4 supplementation of the diet may have practical utility in the culture of slow-growing fish species.


Fish Growth Metabolism Thyroxine 



The research work of the author was supported through a research grant from C(b) Zoo-11-ICAR-NATP (World Bank).


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Laboratory of Aquaculture Management, Department of Zoology and AquacultureCCS Haryana Agricultural UniversityHisarIndia

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