This study analyzed the chemical composition and anesthetic potential of essential oil (EO) of Nectandra megapotamica in fat snook (Centropomus parallelus). For the extraction of EO by hydrodistillation, leaves were separated in young (EO-Y) or old (EO-O), and the chemical composition of the EOs was determined by CG-MS. The anesthetic potential was assessed by the evaluation of induction and recovery time of anesthesia and stress response from anesthesia and transport. Three experiments were carried out: i) four different concentrations of each EO were tested to evaluate anesthesia induction and recovery time; ii) two concentrations of EO-O were tested for the evaluation of its effects on stress parameters (glucose, lactate, and Na+ and K+ plasma levels) caused by anesthesia; and iii) fish were transported in plastic bags, supplied with two concentrations of EO-O for the evaluation of water quality and mortality. All experiments were performed on fish acclimated to 0 and 33 ppt salinity. The main constituents of the Y and O-EOs were bicyclogermacrene (46.5/34.6%), α-pinene (26.8/26.2%), β-pinene (7.9/12.3%), and germacrene D (9.6/9.1%). Mild sedation was achieved at 30 °L L-1(1.3-3.2 min) and deep anesthesia at 150 °L L-1 (5.6-8.0 min) with both EOs. The recovery time ranged from 1-10 min. The EO-O was not able to avoid the stress of anesthesia evidenced by elevated glucose and lactate plasma levels observed in all groups. Plasma levels of Na+ and K+ were not significantly affected by treatments. During transport, the use of EO-O did not prevent deterioration in water quality and the post-transport mortality. In conclusion, the EO of N. megapotamica has anesthetic activity in fat snook, but it was not able to prevent the stress of anesthesia and transport.
Fish; Ionoregulation; Sedation; Stress; Terpenoids