The effect of starvation and subsequent feeding on the hepatocytes of Chanos chanos (Forsskal) fingerlings and fry


  • V. Storch,

    1. Zoologisches Institut der Universität Heidelberg, Im Neuenheimer Feld 230, 69 Heidelberg, West Germany
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  • J. V. Juario

    1. Aquaculture Department, South East Asian Fisheries Development Center (SEAFDEC), Tigbauan, Iloilo, Philippines
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    • *

      Contribution no 119 of the SEAFDEC Aquaculture Department.


Excised liver sections of the milkfish, Chanos chanos, fry and fingerlings were studied by transmission electron microscopy. The hepatocytes underwent marked ultrastructural alterations in response to food deprivation of 10-day starvation for fry and 2 months for the fingerlings. The prominent features characterizing the hepatocytes of starved fish were: a reduction of cell and nucleus size; apparent loss of nucleoli; condensation of chromatin material in fry; loss of stored glycogen; reduction of ER profiles; increase in the number of electron-dense bodies containing large amounts of iron in fingerlings; and an increase in mitochondrial size. These changes were reversible following short periods of re-feeding, i.e. 2 days for fry and 4 days for fingerlings, using natural food for the fry and formulated diet for the fingerlings.