Distribution of cholecystokinin-immunoreactive cells in the gut of developing Atlantic cod Gadus morhua L. larvae fed zooplankton or rotifers
One of the main gastrointestinal hormones, cholecystokinin (CCK), was studied in order to advance understanding of the control of the digestive process in Atlantic cod Gadus morhua larvae after onset of first feeding. Larvae were fed either natural zooplankton or enriched rotifers in similar rearing systems and sampled from hatching to 22 days post-hatch (dph). CCK was visualized by immunohistochemistry and the first CCK-immunoreactive (IR) cells were detected at 8 dph corresponding to 6 days after first feeding. The CCK-IR cells were mostly found in the anterior midgut, and the number of CCK-IR cells was lower in the posterior midgut. They were also present in the hindgut of some of the larvae, but not in the foregut. No clear differences were found in the ontogenetic appearance and the distribution pattern of CCK-IR cells between the two dietary treatments. This indicates that the onset of CCK production in the gut as well as the spatial distribution of the CCK-IR cells is not differentially affected by these diets. To what extent the hormone production itself is influenced by dietary factors needs to be studied by more sensitive methods.
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