The Four Pillars of the Immune System in Fish- Power
We recently introduced the 4 pillars of the immune system in fish. This edition covers what happens to power production when an animal becomes infected.
How do fish make power?
Animal cells generate power using two processes.
Glycolysis breaks down glucose forming compounds with higher energy states.
The second process is called oxidative phosphorylation ("Oxphos").
The mitochondria inside every animal cell uses the high energy compounds formed by glycolysis together with enzymes such as CQ10 and water to attach a phosphate to Adenosine Diphosphate (ADP) forming Adenosine Triphosphate (ATP). When the cell needs power, ATP gives up this phosphate returning back to ADP. This process is 20X more efficient than glycolysis and dominates as the source of power in healthy animals.
Viruses cannot make their own power so have infect the cell and co-opt glycolysis or oxphos in order to replicate.
Conversely, when an infection is detected, the immune system needs power to quickly replicate white blood cells capable of attacking the virus together and to make the eicosanoids or chemical signals that healthy cells use to to communicate with one another to direct resources to the fight and repair damage. We will cover eicosanoids and white blood cells in upcoming articles.
Viral infections are all about a race for power. If your fish have a strong innate and adaptive immune system they will fight off the infection often without becoming symptomatic.
The basis of a strong immune system is power plus the micronutrients need to make white blood cells and eicosanoids. Many if not all of these micronutrients are antioxidants and therein lies another problem that we need to discuss.
Oxphos makes a side product, reactive oxygen species (ROS) with is a toxin.
If you do an internet search, you find the list of antioxidants/micronutrients including Vitamin C, CQ10, zinc, selenium, taurine and magnesium. You will also find each one of these antioxidants also play a key role in metabolic chemistry. For example, CQ10 is required in Oxphos but also depleted by the ROS that results. The thymus uses zinc white blood cells and if absent in the diet or depleted by ROS than white blood cell production drops.
The micronutrient, astaxanthin, is nature's most powerful antioxidant, 5000X more powerful than vitamin C. Astaxanthin is made at the bottom of the marine food chain by algae, copepods, krill and other crustaceans. All other fish ate these animals or ate fish (or their eggs) that did.
Natural astaxanthin in the 3S, 3'S form is the only antioxidant that protects the other antioxidants from being depleted by ROS. It is unique in that it plays no other role in any other chemistry.
Our sister hatchery has operated over 100 RAS systems for 15 years enjoying an over 96% egg hatch to harvest yield across 200 species of warm and cold water fish. All without antibiotics or vaccines.
Dose your fish with the micronutrients their immune systems needs to do its job and let nature do the rest.
Amplifeed Topcoat- All of the micronutrients required for broodstock, first feeds and optimal immune system performance throughout life.