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Diseases of Aquatic Organisms

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DAO 42:227-231 (2000)  -  doi:10.3354/dao042227

Infection with Edwardsiella tarda causes hypertrophy of liver cells in the Japanese flounder Paralichthys olivaceus

Satoshi Miwa*, Nobuhiro Mano

National Research Institute of Fisheries Science, 2-12-4, Fukuura, Kanazawa, Yokohama 236-8648, Japan

ABSTRACT: To study the direct cause of liver enlargement in the Japanese flounder Paralichthys olivaceus infected with Edwardsiella tarda, the fish were challenged with E. tarda and reared without feeding. The liver of fish exposed to the bacteria was markedly enlarged compared to that of the controls while no severe histopathological change appeared in the organ during the experiments. No notable difference was observed in the crude fat, glycogen, and water content of the liver between challenged and control fish. The size of liver cells and nuclei of the challenged fish was apparently larger than that of the controls. Analysis of crude DNA in the liver suggested that the number of liver cells of starved control fish significantly decreased during the experiment while that of the challenged fish was maintained at a level of the initial control. RNA/DNA ratio of the liver of challenged fish clearly increased while it decreased in the control fish during the experiment. These observations suggest that liver enlargement of flounder infected with E. tarda, at least in the early stage of infection, is not a result of any readily observable histopathological changes and that E. tarda infection causes hypertrophy of the cells, as well as preventing decrease in liver cell number.

KEY WORDS: Edwardsiella tarda · Flounder · Paralichthys olivaceus · Liver · Enlargement · Histopathology

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