The Israeli Journal of Aquaculture Bamidgeh 56(1), 2004, 5-13.

EFFECT OF ANESTHETICS ON STRESS AND THE INNATE IMMUNE SYSTEM OF GILTHEAD SEABREAM
(SPARUS AURATA
)


Keren Bressler and Benny Ron*

Israel Oceanographic and Limnological Research, National Center for Mariculture, P.O. Box 1212, Eilat 88112, Israel

(Received 1.10.03, Accepted 1.11.03)


Key words: anesthetics, benzocaine, clove oil, innate immune system, Sparus aurata, stress


Abstract

Anesthesia may depress the immune system in mammals and fish. In the present work, two anesthetics used in aquaculture, clove oil (0.445 mM) and benzocaine (0.225 mM), were tested to observe their effects on the stress response and innate immune system activity of gilthead seabream (Sparus aurata L.). Results showed that both anesthetics induced increased blood glucose and serum cortisol levels. In addition, benzocaine depressed lysozyme activity, production of reactive oxygen species and pinocytosis activity. These were not depressed by clove oil, suggesting that clove oil is a safer anesthetic for seabream as it does not cause immunodepression in anesthetized fish.

* Corresponding author. E-mail: ronbenny@agri.huji.ac.il
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