Ectopic epithelial cell clusters in salmonid intestine are associated with inflammation
Peer reviewed, Journal article
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An epizootic incidence of intestinal adenocarcinomas was reported in brood fish of Atlantic salmon (Salmo salar L.) in 2009. The condition was associated with a specific diet inducing enteritis and morphological changes. Here, two field trials of fish up to slaughter size were initiated. In Trial 1, two different feed recipes were used. Feed I was predominantly based on marine ingredients, whereas plant ingredients were limited to soy protein concentrate and wheat. Feed II was lower in fishmeal and without soya protein, which was substituted with plant proteins from other sources. In Trial 2, a commercial feed (Feed III) was included. No macroscopic tumours were observed in 300 fish (Trial 1). At the end of both trials, samples from five different segments of the gastrointestinal tract of a total of 39 fish were investigated with morphological methods. Here, we show the presence of ectopic proliferating epithelial cells only occurring in inflamed intestine and predominantly in the second segment of the mid‐intestine. Presence of ectopic epithelial cells in submucosal inflammatory foci may indicate early stages in tumorigenesis, but other possibilities such as proliferative enteric disorders cannot be excluded. Together with inflammation, carcinogenesis should be a focus of investigation in future feed trials.