This work aimed to assess the effect of the probiotic strain, Lactobacillus plantarum, on the levels of leptin, IGF-1 and their receptors on the hepatopancreatic tissues of Nile tilapia (Oreochromis niloticus) and then correlate fish growth performance and gut microbiological parameters. Fish juveniles (±23g) were reared in a recirculation system with constant aeration and temperature (25°C). They were distributed into six polyethylene tanks (45L) and fed twice a day at 5% of the tank biomass with the respective diets: control (commercial diet without probiotic) and supplemented with L. plantarum inoculum (1 x 108 CFU mL-1), both in triplicate. After 30 days of feeding, L. plantarum-fed fishes showed greater weekly growth rate, final weight, and feed conversion rate, in addition to higher count of lactic-acid bacteria and lower count of pathogenic bacteria in the intestinal tract, when compared to the control group. The immunostaining intensity for IGF-1 and leptin hormones was lower after L. plantarum supplementation than in the control group, with no change in the level for receptors. This reduction could implicate important changes in fish metabolism and homeostasis.
Oreochromis niloticus; Lactobacillus plantarum; growth; gut microbiology; hepatopancreas immunostaining