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Anesthetic activity of the essential oil of Ocimum americanum in Rhamdia quelen (Quoy & Gaimard, 1824) and its effects on stress parameters


The aim of this study was to evaluate the anesthetic activity of the essential oil (EO) of Ocimum americanum L. in silver catfish (Rhamdia quelen ). In the first experiment, the depressor effects and chemical composition of the leaf EO (LEO) and inflorescence EO (IEO) were compared. Juveniles (n = 10) were placed in aquaria containing different concentrations of EO (25 - 500 mg L-1) to determine the point at which anesthesia was induced and the length of the recovery period. In the following experiment, the effects of 300 and 500 mg L-1 LEO exposure on stress parameters (plasma cortisol, glucose and sodium levels) after air exposure for 1 min were assayed. Fish (n = 10 per sampling time) were sampled immediately or transferred to anesthetic-free aquaria until sampling (15, 30, 60 or 240 min). LEO was composed mainly of β-linalool and 1,8-cineole in similar proportions, whereas IEO showed β-linalool as major compound. Anesthesia was obtained in silver catfish with 200-500 mg L-1 between 4-8 min for LEO and 6-16 min for IEO. Lower EO concentrations did not reach anesthetic stage up to 30 min. LEO used as anesthetic prevented the cortisol increase and sodium loss induced by aerial exposure. Glucose levels were raised in catfish exposed to LEO compared to basal group (not air exposed) in almost all observation times. EO of O. americanum obtained from leaves was considered suitable to anesthetic procedures due to its fast induction and handling-induced stress prevention.

Anesthesia; Basil; Cortisol; Glucose; Sodium

Sociedade Brasileira de Ictiologia Neotropical Ichthyology, Núcleo de Pesquisas em Limnologia, Ictiologia e Aquicultura, Universidade Estadual de Maringá., Av. Colombo, 5790, 87020-900, Phone number: +55 44-3011-4632 - Maringá - PR - Brazil