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Effects of zinc oxide supported on zeolite on growth performance, intestinal barrier function and digestive enzyme activities of Nile tilapia

Authors

  • C. H. Hu,

    Corresponding author
    1. College of Animal Sciences, Zhejiang University, Hangzhou, China
    2. The Key Laboratory of Molecular Animal Nutrition, Ministry of Education, Hangzhou, China
    • Correspondence: C.H. Hu, College of Animal Sciences, Zhejiang University, Hangzhou, 310058, China. E-mail: chhu@zju.edu.cn.

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  • K. Xiao,

    1. College of Animal Sciences, Zhejiang University, Hangzhou, China
    2. The Key Laboratory of Molecular Animal Nutrition, Ministry of Education, Hangzhou, China
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  • L.F. Jiao,

    1. College of Animal Sciences, Zhejiang University, Hangzhou, China
    2. The Key Laboratory of Molecular Animal Nutrition, Ministry of Education, Hangzhou, China
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  • J. Song

    1. College of Animal Sciences, Zhejiang University, Hangzhou, China
    2. The Key Laboratory of Molecular Animal Nutrition, Ministry of Education, Hangzhou, China
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Abstract

A total of 720 Nile tilapia fingerlings were allocated to four treatments and used to investigate the effects of zinc oxide supported on zeolite (Z-ZnO) on growth performance and intestinal function. The basal diet (control) was not supplemented with zinc and contained 60 mg Zn kg−1. The other three groups were added 30 mg Zn kg−1 to the basal diet, in which zinc was supplemented as Z-ZnO, Z + ZnO (mixture of zeolite and ZnO) or ZnSO4, respectively. As compared to the control, supplemental Z-ZnO improved (< 0.05) specific growth rate, protein efficiency ratio (PER) and survivor ratio; increased (< 0.05) villus-height-to-crypt-depth ratio and transepithelial electrical resistance; decreased (< 0.05) mucosal-to-serosal flux of dextran 4 kDa; and improved (< 0.05) intestinal activities of protease, amylase, lipase and alkaline phosphatase. Fish fed with Z-ZnO had higher (< 0.05) specific growth rate and PER, and better intestinal barrier function than those fed with ZnSO4 or Z + ZnO. The zinc concentrations in whole body and vertebrae were not affected by dietary treatments. The results indicated that Z-ZnO improved intestinal morphology, barrier function and digestive enzyme activities. Such changes in intestinal health in the presence of Z-ZnO might contribute to its improvement in growth performance.

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