Histology and growth performance in rainbow trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss) in response to increasing dietary concentration of sparteine, a common alkaloid in lupins

This study evaluated the effects of sparteine, a lupin alkaloid, on growth and organ histology in rainbow trout. Eight diets with increasing concentrations of sparteine (0, 50, 100, 250, 500, 1000, 2500 and 5000 mg kg-1) were fed to triplicate groups of 61-g fish for 62 days. Survival was not affected by the dietary treatments. Weight gain, feed conversion efficiency and feed intake decreased in a quadratic manner for sparteine levels above 100 mg kg-1. No effects were observed at inclusion levels =100 mg kg-1. Whole-body lipid and dry matter was depleted in a quadratic manner, while protein and ash were not affected. No tissue alteration attributable to sparteine alkaloid intake was found in liver, kidney, spleen or mid and distal intestines. At sparteine levels above 1000 mg kg-1 of diet, the weight of the intestines and the liver relative to body weight decreased, whereas the weight of the spleen increased. These effects were likely associated with low feed intake and starvation. These results indicate that dietary sparteine alkaloid primarily reduced palatability, but did not impair the health of the fish. The level of sparteine should be kept below 100 mg kg-1 in trout diets to ensure rapid growth.

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