Open Access

Effects of Mulberry (Morus alba L.) Leaf Extracts on Growth, Immune Response, and Antioxidant Functions in Nile Tilapia (Oreochromis niloticus)


This study evaluates how white mulberry (Morus alba L.) leaf extracts affect the growth, antioxidant activity, and immune response in Nile tilapia Oreochromis niloticus. Mulberry leaf extracts were obtained through aqueous extraction (AE) and ethanol extraction (EE). Powder of mulberry leaf (PML) was added directly to feed and compared with the effects of feeds supplemented with the different extracts. Fish were divided into eight groups for an 8-week feeding trial where they were fed the basal diet or supplemented with 10% PML, 10% AE, 20% AE, 40% AE, 10% EE, 20% EE, or 40% EE. The inclusion of mulberry leaf extract obtained with either method showed better effects on fish growth performance, antioxidant activities and acid phosphatase activity (ACP) in serum, immune cytokine expression, and intestinal morphology as compared with controls or fish fed the 10% PML diet. The specific growth rate was significantly higher in the 10% AE, 10% EE, and 20% EE groups compared with all other groups (P<0.05). Catalase activity was significantly greater in most groups fed an extract, and in the 10% PML group, when compared with controls. Similarly, ACP, interleukin (IL)-1, and IL-2 expression was significantly increased in groups fed an extract, and in the 10% PML group, when compared with controls (P<0.05). IL- 1, IL-2, IL-10, and Toll-like receptor 2 expression was significantly greater in the 10% EE group than in the 10% PML and 10% AE groups (P<0.05). Villus length in the middle intestine was significantly increased in the 10% AE and 10% EE groups compared with controls and the 10% PML group (P<0.05). Thus, 10% mulberry leaf ethanol extract added to feed is recommended for enhancing the growth rate and health of cultured Nile tilapia.

Publication timeframe:
4 times per year
Journal Subjects:
Life Sciences, Biotechnology, Zoology, Medicine, Veterinary Medicine