Document Type : Original Article


1 Department of Fisheries, Babol Branch, Islamic Azad University, Babol, Iran

2 Department of Veterinary, Babol Branch, Islamic Azad University, Babol, Iran

3 Department of Food Hygiene and Aquatic Animals, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, University of Tabriz, Tabriz, Iran

4 Department of Pathobiology, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, University of Tabriz, Tabriz, Iran


The potential of commercial astaxanthin on growth, biochemical factors, and antioxidant-related gene expression following a challenge with diazinon were studied in rainbow trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss). Fish (~ 20.70 g) were fed diets containing commercial astaxanthin (ASX) at 0.00 (CTR and ASX0), 0.50 (ASX1), 2.00 (ASX2), and 5.00 (ASX3) g kg-1 for 60 days. Afterwards, the treated fish (ASX1, ASX2, ASX3) as well as the fish in ASX0 group were challenged with diazinon (0.11 mg L-1) for 96 hr whereas fish in the CTR group was not challenged with diazinon. Results showed that growth pattern improved significantly with all enriched diets compared to the ASX0 group. Metabolic enzyme activities, including alanine aminotransferase and alkaline phosphatase decreased in ASX2 and ASX3 groups with respect to the ASX0 group. Serum antioxidant status also showed the same pattern with enhancement in the fish fed with the ASX2 and ASX3 supplemented diets. Feeding the fish with astaxanthin, particularly in the ASX3 group, up-regulated the expression of some antioxidant-relevant genes, including superoxide dismutase (SOD), catalase (CAT), glutathione peroxidase (GPx), glutathione S-transferase (GST), and nuclear factor erythroid-2 related factor 2 (Nrf2) in the kidney and liver. Besides, the histopathological damages in kidneys and liver induced by diazinon were less pronounced in the ASX2 and ASX3 groups compared to the ASX0 group. In conclusion, commercial astaxanthin, especially at 5.00 g kg-1, enhanced the growth performance and ameliorated the oxidative stress induced by diazinon in rainbow trout.


  1. Slaninova A, Smutna M, Modra H, et al. A review: oxidative stress in fish induced by pesticides. Neuro Endocrinol Lett 2009; 30 Suppl 1: 2-12.
  2. Banaee M, Sureda A, Mirvaghefi AR, et al. Effects of diazinon on biochemical parameters of blood in rainbow trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss). Pestic Biochem Physiol 2011; 99(1): 1-6.
  3. Birnie‐Gauvin K, Costantini D, Cooke SJ, et al. A comparative and evolutionary approach to oxidative stress in fish: A review. Fish Fish (Oxf) 2017; 18(5): 928-942.
  4. Livingstone DR. Oxidative stress in aquatic organisms in relation to pollution and aquaculture. Rev Med Vet (Toulouse) 2003; 154: 427-443.
  5. Talebi K. Diazinon residues in the basins of Anzali lagoon Iran. Bull Environ Contam Toxicol 1998; 61(4): 477-483.
  6. Trichet VV. Nutrition and immunity: an update. Aquac Res 2010; 41(3): 356-372.
  7. Dawood MAO, Koshio S, Esteban MÁ. Beneficial roles of feed additives as immunostimulants in aquaculture: a review. Rev Aquac 2018; 10(4): 950-974.
  8. Chen JT, Kotani K. Astaxanthin as a potential protector of liver function: A review. J Clin Med Res 2016; 8(10): 701-704.
  9. Fakhri S, Abbaszadeh F, Dargahi L, et al. Astaxanthin: A mechanistic review on its biological activities and health benefits. Pharmacol Res 2018; 136:1-20.
  10. Fakhri S, Aneva IY, Farzaei MH, et al. The neuroprotective effects of astaxanthin: Therapeutic targets and clinical perspective. Molecules 2019; 24(14): 2640. doi: 10.3390/molecules24142640.
  11. Singh KN, Patil S, Barkate H. Protective effects of astaxanthin on skin: Recent scientific evidence, possible mechanisms, and potential indications. J Cosmet Dermatol 2020; 19(1): 22-27.
  12. Wong SK, Ima-Nirwana S, Chin KY. Effects of astaxanthin on the protection of muscle health (Review). Exp Ther Med 2020; 20(4): 2941-2952.
  13. Lim KC, Yusoff FM, Shariff M, et al. Astaxanthin as feed supplement in aquatic animals. Rev Aquac 2018; 10(3): 738-773.
  14. Yaakob Z, Ali E, Zainal A, et al. An overview: biomolecules from microalgae for animal feed and aquaculture. J Biol Res (Thessalon) 2014; 21(1): 6. doi: 10.1186/2241-5793-21-6.
  15. Roy SS, Pal R. Microalgae in aquaculture: A Review with special references to nutritional value and fish dietetics. Proc Zool Soc 2015; 68:1-8.
  16. Yu W, Liu J. Astaxanthin isomers: Selective distribution and isomerization in aquatic animals. Aquaculture 2020; 520: 734915. doi:10.1016/ j.aquaculture.2019.734915
  17. Hasanpour S, Sheikhzadeh N, Jamali H, et al. Growth performance, antioxidant and immune status of Siberian sturgeon (Acipenser baeri) fed diets containing green tea extract and oxidized fish oil. J Appl Ichthyol 2019; 35(12): 1-10. doi: 10.1111/jai.13960
  18. Khani Oushani A, Soltani M, Sheikhzadeh N, et al. Effects of dietary chitosan and nano-chitosan loaded clinoptilolite on growth and immune responses of rainbow trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss). Fish Shellfish Immunol 2020; 98: 210-217.
  19. Brooke LT, Smith GJ. Aquatic life ambient water quality criteria: diazinon. United States Environmental Protection Agency. Office of Water, Office of Science and Technology, Washington, DC, 2005. EPA-822-R-05-006. Available at: files/2019-03/documents/ambient-wqc-diazinon-final. pdf. Accessed Dec 31, 2022.
  20. Benzie IF, Strain JJ. The ferric reducing ability of plasma (FRAP) as a measure of “antioxidant power”: the FRAP assay. Anal Biochem 1996; 239(1): 70-76.
  21. Satoh K. Serum lipid peroxide in cerebrovascular disorders determined by a new colorimetric method. Clin Chim Acta 1978; 90(1): 37-43.
  22. Milan FS, Maleki BRS, Moosavy MH, et al. Ameliorating effects of dietary Haematococcus pluvialis on arsenic-induced oxidative stress in rainbow trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss) fillet. Ecotoxicol Environ Saf 2021; 207: 111559. doi: 10.1016/j.ecoenv. 2020.111559.
  23. Heidarieh M, Mirvaghefi AR, Akbari M, et al. Effect of dietary Ergosan on growth performance, digestive enzymes, intestinal histology, hematological parameters and body composition of rainbow trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss). Fish Physiol Biochem 2012; 38(4): 1169-1174.
  24. Sheikhzadeh N, Tahapour K, Nofouzi K, et al. Can heat-killed Gordonia bronchialis enhance growth and immunity in rainbow trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss)? Aquac Nutr 2017;23(4): 788-795.
  25. Li M, Wu W, Zhou P, et al. Comparison effect of dietary astaxanthin and Haematococcus pluvialis on growth performance, antioxidant status and immune response of large yellow croaker Pseudosciaena crocea. Aquaculture 2014; 434: 227-232.
  26. Rahman MM, Khosravi S, Chang KH, et al. Effects of dietary inclusion of astaxanthin on growth, muscle pigmentation and antioxidant capacity of juvenile rainbow trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss). Prev Nutr Food Sci 2016; 21(3): 281-288.
  27. Christiansen R, Lie O, Torrissen OJ. Growth and survival of Atlantic salmon, Salmo salar, fed different dietary levels of astaxanthin. First-feeding fry. Aquac Nutr 1995; 1(3): 189-198.
  28. Merrifield DL, Harper GM, Mustafa S. et al. Effect of dietary alginic acid on juvenile tilapia (Oreochromis niloticus) intestinal microbial balance, intestinal histology and growth performance. Cell Tissue Res 2011; 344(1): 135-146.
  29. Hamidian G, Zirak K, Sheikhzadeh N, et al. Intestinal histology and stereology in rainbow trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss) administrated with nanochitosan/zeolite and chitosan/zeolite composites. Aquac Res 2018; 49(5): 1803-1815.
  30. Sheikhzadeh N, Tayefi-Nasrabadi H, Khani Oushani A, et al. Effects of Haematococcus pluvialis supplementation on antioxidant system and metabolism in rainbow trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss). Fish Physiol Biochem 2012; 38: 413-419.
  31. Nakano T, Tosa M, Takeuchi M. Improvement of biochemical features in fish health by red yeast and synthetic astaxanthin. J Agric Food Chem 1995; 43(6): 1570-1573.
  32. Brewer MS. Natural antioxidants: sources, compounds, mechanisms of action, and potential applications. Compr Rev Food Sci Food Saf 2011; 10(4): 221-247.
  33. Sindhi V, Gupta V, Sharma Yadavilli K, et al. Potential applications of antioxidants – A review. J Pharm Res 2013; 7(9): 828-835.
  34. Pisoschi AM, Pop A. The role of antioxidants in the chemistry of oxidative stress: A review. Eur J Med Chem 2015; 97: 55-74.
  35. Khan FA, Maalik A, Murtaza G. Inhibitory mechanism against oxidative stress of caffeic acid. J Food Drug Anal 2016; 24(4): 695-702.
  36. Kamath BS, Srikanta BM, Dharmesh SM, et al. Ulcer preventive and antioxidative properties of astaxanthin from Haematococcus pluvialis. Eur J Pharmacol 2008; 590(1-3): 387-395.
  37. Wang H, Dai A, Liu F, et al. Effects of dietary astaxanthin on the immune response, resistance to white spot syndrome virus and transcription of antioxidant enzyme genes in Pacific white shrimp Litopenaeus vannamei. Iran J Fish Sci 2015; 14(3): 699-718.
  38. Ou W, Liao Z, Yu G, et al. The effects of dietary astaxanthin on intestinal health of juvenile tiger puffer Takifugu rubripes in terms of antioxidative status, inflammatory response and microbiota. Aquac Nutr 2019; 25(2): 466-476.
  39. Ming J, Ye J, Zhang Y, et al. Optimal dietary curcumin improved growth performance, and modulated innate immunity, antioxidant capacity and related genes expression of NF-κB and Nrf2 signaling pathways in grass carp (Ctenopharyngodon idella) after infection with Aeromonas hydrophila. Fish Shellfish Immunol 2020; 97: 540-554.
  40. Sahin K, Orhan C, Yazlak H, et al. Lycopene improves activation of antioxidant system and Nrf2/HO-1 pathway of muscle in rainbow trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss) with different stocking densities. Aquaculture 2014; 430: 133-138.