Open Access Open Badges Research article

Genome wide response to dietary tetradecylthioacetic acid supplementation in the heart of Atlantic Salmon (Salmo salar L)

Fabian Grammes12, Kjell-Arne Rørvik12, Magny S Thomassen12, Rolf K Berge3 and Harald Takle24*

Author Affiliations

1 Institute of Animal and Aquaculture Sciences, Norwegian University of Life Sciences, P.O. Box 5003, N-1432 Ås-UMB, Norway

2 NOFIMA, P.O. Box 5010, N-1432 Aas, Norway

3 Institute of Medicine, Haukeland University Hospital, University of Bergen, N-5021 Bergen, Norway

4 AVS Chile SA, Casilla 300, Puerto Varas, Chile

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BMC Genomics 2012, 13:180  doi:10.1186/1471-2164-13-180

Published: 11 May 2012



Under-dimensioned hearts causing functional problems are associated with higher mortality rates in intensive Atlantic salmon aquaculture. Previous studies have indicated that tetradecylthioacetic acid (TTA) induces cardiac growth and also stimulates transcription of peroxisome proliferator activated receptors (PPAR) αand βin the Atlantic salmon heart. Since cardiac and transcriptional responses to feed are of high interest in aquaculture, the objective of this study was to characterize the transcriptional mechanisms induced by TTA in the heart of Atlantic salmon.


Atlantic salmon were kept at sea for 17 weeks. During the first 8 weeks the fish received a TTA supplemented diet. Using microarrays, profound transcriptional effects were observed in the heart at the end of the experiment, 9 weeks after the feeding of TTA stopped. Approximately 90% of the significant genes were expressed higher in the TTA group. Hypergeometric testing revealed the over-representation of 35 gene ontology terms in the TTA fed group. The GO terms were generally categorized into cardiac performance, lipid catabolism, glycolysis and TCA cycle.


Our results indicate that TTA has profound effects on cardiac performance based on results from microarray and qRT-PCR analysis. The gene expression profile favors a scenario of ”physiological”lright hypertrophy recognized by increased oxidative fatty acid metabolism, glycolysis and TCA cycle activity as well as cardiac growth and contractility in the heart ventricle. Increased cardiac efficiency may offer significant benefits in the demanding Aquaculture situations.