ABSTRACT The present study deals with the effect of exogenous treatment of O. niloticus females with L-thyroxine (T4) on the development of the digestive system during larval rearing, and its subsequent effect on larval growth and survival. The development of the digestive tract and accessory glands was investigated histologically and histochemically in the developing O. niloticus larvae, from control and T4-treated spawners. During yolk-sac absorption, the digestive system of the fish underwent further differentiation and the rudimentary alimentary canal became segmented into four different histological regions: the buccopharynx, oesophagus, stomach and intestine. The injection of females O. niloticus with thyroxine (1 or 10 μg T4/g BW) greatly enhanced the development of the digestive tract and accessory glands of larvae as indicated by the quantitative and qualitative changes of the mucus composition from predominantly neutral to a mixture of neutral and acid mucosubstances, or acid mucosubstances occurred during the rearing period for the larvae produced from T4-treated females. This may be due to the direct effect of exogenous thyroxine, which might have been transferred from maternal circulation into the oocytes and larvae, on the synthesis of proteins, which increased with larval development. Thus, thyroxine directly or indirectly improved O. niloticus larval growth, since a marked increase in both, length and weight of larvae occurred during the experimental period. In addition, larvae from treated females also gave a significantly higher survival rate than that of control. It could be concluded that exogenous T4 in maternal circulation might have been transferred into oocytes and larvae. The transferred thyroid hormone appears to play some role in the early development of larvae and may confer a distinct advantage for the growth of the offspring of the Nile tilapia, O. niloticus.
Cite this paper
nullKhalil, N. , Allah, H. and Mousa, M. (2011) The effect of maternal thyroxine injection on growth, survival and development of the digestive system of Nile tilapia, Oreochromis niloticus, larvae. Advances in Bioscience and Biotechnology, 2, 320-329. doi: 10.4236/abb.2011.25047.
 Calzada, A., Medina, A. and González de Canales, M.L. (1998) Fine structure of the intestine development in cultured sea bream larvae. J. Fish Biol., 53, 340-365.
 Cataldi, E., Albao, C., Boglione, A., et al. (2002) Acipenser naccarii: fine structure of the alimentary canal with references to its ontogenesis. Journal of Applied Ichthyology, 18, 329-337.
 Sarasquete, M.C., Polo, A. and Yúfera, M. (1995) Histology and histochemistry of the development of the digestive system of larval gilthead seabream, Sparus aurata L. Aquaculture, 130, 79-92.
 Govoni, J.J., Boehlert, G.W. and Watanabe, Y. (1986) The physiology of digestion in fish larvae. Environ. Biol. Fishes, 16, 59-77.
 Hamlin, H., Hunt von Herbing, I. and Kling, L. (2000) Histological and morphological evaluations of the digestive tract and associated organs of haddock through- out post-hatching ontogeny. J. Fish Biol., 57, 716-732.
 Mai, K., Yu, H., Ma, H., et al. (2005) A histological study on the development of the digestive system of Pseudosciaena crocea larvae and juveniles. Journal of Fish Biology, 67, 1094-1106.
 Padrós, F., Minkoff, G., Sala, R., et al. (1993) Histological events throughout the development of turbot, Scophthalmus maximus larvae. Journal of Comparative Pathology, 109, 321-334.
 Gisbert, E., Piedrahita, R.H. and Conklin, D.E. (2004) Ontogenetic development of the digestive system in California halibut, Paralichthys californicus with notes on feeding practices. Aquaculture, 232, 455-470.
 Mousa, M.A. (2004): The effect of thyroxine on the activity of activin βA during the growth of the larvae of the Nile tilapia Oreochromis niloticus. J. Union Arab Biol. Cairo, 22 (A) Zool., 99-120.
 Yamano, K. (2005) The role of thyroid hormone in fish development with reference to aquaculture. Japan Agricultural Research Quarterly, 39 (3), 161-168.
 Yen, P. M. and Chin, W. W. (1994) New advances in understanding the molecular mechanisms of thyroid hormone action. Trends Endocrinol. Metab., 5, 65-72.
 Castro, L.F.C. and Wilson, J.M. (2011) Morphological diversity of the gastrointestinal tract in fishes. Fish Physiology, the multifunctional gut of fish: Volume 30, 1-55.
 Kurokawa, T., Iinuma, N., Unuma, T., et al. (2004) Development of endocrine system regulating exocrine pancreas and estimation of feeding and digestive ability in Japanese eel larvae. Aquaculture, 234, 513-525.
 Zaiss, M., Papadakis, I., Divanach, P., et al. (2006) Ontogeny of the digestive tract in shi drum, Umbrina cirrrosa reared using the mesocosm larval rearing system. Aquaculture, 260, 357-368.
 Hachero-Cruzado, I., Ortiz-Delgado, J.B., Borrega, B., et al. (2009) Larval organogenesis of flatfish brill Scophthalmus rhombus L: Histological and histochemical aspects. Aquaculture, 286, 138-149.
 Wegner, A., Ostaszewska, T. and Rozek, W. (2009) The ontogenetic development of the digestive tract and accessory glands of sterlet (Acipenser ruthenus L.) larvae during endogenous feeding. Rev Fish Biol Fisheries, 19, 431-444.
 Conn, H.J. (1953) “Biological Stains” (Williams and Wilkins Company, Baltimore).
 Bancroft, J.D. and Cook, H.C. (1984) Manual of histological Techniques. New York: Churchill Livingstone.
 Ansal, M.D. and Kaur, K. (1998) Relative efficacy of dietary administration of 3,5,3＇-triiodothyronine (T3) to different stages of an Indian major carp, Cirrhina mrigala (Hamilton): growth and economics. Aquacult. Res., 29, 835-841.
 Power, D.M., Llewellyn, L., Faustino, M., et al. (2001) Thyroid hormones in growth and development of fish. Comp. Biochem. Physiol. C Toxicol. Pharmacol., 130, 447-459.
 Gavlik, S., Albino, M. and Specker, J.L. (2002) Metamorphosis in summer flounder: manipulation of thyroid status to synchronize settling behavior, growth, and development. Aquaculture, 203, 359-373.
 Mousa, M.A., El-Gamal, A.S. and Khalil, M-B.A. (2002) Effect of exogenous hormonal treatment on growth, survival and mucus cells activity during larval development of common carp, Cyprinus carpio. J. Egypt. Ger. Soc. Zool., 37 (C), 193-207.
 Kang, D-Y. and Chang, Y. J. (2004) Effects of maternal injection of 3,5,3`-triiodo-L-thyronine (T3) on growth of newborn offspring of rockfish, Sebastes schlegeli. Aquaculture, 234, 641-655.
 Lam, T.G., Juario, J.V. and Banno, J. (1985) Effect of thyroxine on growth and development in post-yolk sac larvae of milkfish, Chanos chanos. Aquaculture, 64, 179- 184.
 de Jesus, E.G., Toledo, J.D. and Simpas, M.S. (1998) Thyroid hormones promote early metamorphosis in grouper (Epinephelus coioides) larvae. Gen. Comp. Endocrinol., 112, 10-16.
 Huang, L., Specker, J.L. and Bengtson, D.A. (1996) Effect of triiodothyronine on the growth and survival of striped bass (Morone saxatilis). Fish Physiol. Biochem., 15, 57-64.
 Nugegoda, D., Walford, J. and Lam, T.J. (1994) Thyroid hormones in the early development of seabass (Lates calcarifer) larvae. J.Aqua. Trop., 9, 279-290.
 Nacario, J. F. (1983) The effect of thyroxine on the larvae and fry of Sarotherodon niloticus L. (Tilapia nilotica). Aquaculture, 34, 73-83.
 Ostaszewska, T., Wegner, A. and Wegiel, M. (2003) Development of the digestive tract of ide, Leuciscus idus (L.) during the larval stage. Arch Pol Fish, 11, 181-195.
 Shehata, S.M.A. (1999) Studies on the anatomy and histochemistry of the digestive tract in the fingerling stages of the grass carp, Ctenopharyngdon idella (Valenciennes), in relation to food and feeding habits. Egypt. J. Aqua. Boil. & Fish., 13 (1), 113-145.
 Sarasquete, C., Gonzalez De Canales, M.L., Arellano, J.M., et al. (1996) Histochemical aspects of the yolk-sac and digestive tract of larvae of the Senegal sole, Solea senegalensis (Kaup, 1858). Histol. Histopathol., 11, 881-888.
 Boulhic, M. and J. Gabaudan, J. (1992) Histolgical study of the organogenesis of the digestive system and swim bladder of the Dover sole, Solea solea (Linneaus 1758). Aquaculture, 102, 373-396.
 Baglole, C.J., Murray, H.M., Goff, G.P., et al. (1997) Ontogeny of the digestive tract during larval development of the Yellow tail flounder: a light microscopy and mucous histochemical study. Journal of Fish Biology, 51, 120-134.
 Yashpal, M., Kumari, U., Mittal, S., et al. (2007) Histochemical characterization of glycoproteins in the buccal epithelium of the catfish, Rita rita. Acta Histochem., 109, 285-303.
 Morrison, C.M. and Wright, J.R. (1999) A study of the histology of the digestive tract of the Nile tilapia. J Fish Biol., 54: 597-606.
 Cardellini, P., Zanella, S., Franceson, A., et al. (1998) Differentiation of the digestive tract in the shi drum, Umbrina cirrosa (L.), a new fish recently reared in Mediterranean aquaculture. In: Enne, G., Greppi, G.F. (Eds.), New Species for Mediterranean Aquaculture. Elsevier, Amsterdam, pp. 183-196.
 Ribeiro, L., Sarasquete, C. and Dinis, M.T. (1999) Histological and histochemical development of the digestive system of Solea senegalensis (Kaup, 1858) larvae. Aquaculture, 171, 293-308.
 Veggetti, A., Rowlerson, A., Radaelli, G., et al. (1999) Post-hatching development of the gut and larval muscle in the sole. Journal of Fish Biology, 55, 44-65.
 Bisbal, G.A. and Bengston, D.A. (1995) Development of the digestive tract in larval summer flounder. Journal of Fish Biology, 47, 277-291.
 Soffientino, B. and Specker, J.L. (2000) Age-dependent response of developing gastric mucosa to thyroxine (T4) in summer flounder. In: 4th International Symposium on Fish Endocrinology (Abstracts). ISFE W-461. July 31-Aug. 3, 2000. Univ. Washington and Northwest Fisheries Science Center. Seattle, Washington.
 Osman, A.H.K. and Caceci, T. (1991) Histology of the stomach of Tilapia nilotica_Linnaeus, 1758.from the river Nile. J. Fish Biol., 38, 221-223.
 Kj?rsvik, E., Van der Meeren, T., Kryvi, H., et al. (1991) Early development of the digestive tract of cod larvae, Gadus morhua during start-feeding and starvation. Journal of Fish Biology, 38, 1-15.
 Luizi, F. S., Gara, B., Shields, R. J., et al. (1999) Further description of the development of the digestive organs in Atlantic halibut, Hippoglossus hippoglossus larvae, with notes on differential absorption of copepod and Artemia prey. Aquaculture, 176, 101-116.
 Kurokawa, T. and Suzuki, T. (1996), Formation of the diffuse pancreas and the development of digestive enzyme synthesis in the larvae of the Japanese flounder Para- lichthys olivaceus. Aquaculture, 141, 267-276.
 Tanaka, M. (1973) Studies on the structure and function of the digestive system of teleost larvae. Ph.D. Thesis. Kyoto University, Japan, 136 pp.
 Ma, H.M., Cahu, C., Zambonino Infante J. L., et al. (2005) Activities of selected digestive enzymes during larval development of large yellow croaker (Pseudosciaena crocea). Aquaculture, 245, 239-248.