||The aim of this study was to determine whether mortality observed during the larval development of reared bluefin tuna (Thunnus thynnus) could be related to improper expression profiles of key genes involved in digestive or antioxidant response capabilities. Tuna larvae were sampled at hatching, 2, 5, 10, 15 and 20 dph (days post hatching) for the relative quantification of transcripts encoded by genes involved in digestive [trypsinogen 1 (TRYP1), alpha-amylase (AMY), aminopeptidase N (ANPEP)] and antioxidant [catalase (CAT)] functions. The levels of expression of ANPEP related to the development and maturation of intestinal function increased from 5 to 20 dph. Furthermore, AMY and TRYP1 genes, which are pancreatic enzymes implicated in carbohydrate and peptide digestions exhibit a typical peak of expression at 5 and 15 dph respectively. The antioxidant enzyme, CAT, exhibited higher mRNA levels during the first stage of larval development. In conclusion, our investigation indicates that the expression of genes involved in digestive and antioxidant physiological processes followed typical patterns which could not explain high mortality rate observed during the first stage of larval development.