Local regulation of immune genes in rainbow trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss) naturally infected with Flavobacterium psychrophilum

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Barreto O.
Campos D.
Chirinos R.
Noratto G.
Pedreschi R.
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Flavobacterium psychrophilum is the etiological agent of bacterial cold water disease (BCWD), also referred to as rainbow trout fry syndrome (RTFS), a disease with great economic impact in salmonid aquaculture. Despite this, to date, not many studies have analyzed in depth how the immune system is regulated during the course of the disease. In the current study, we have studied the transcription of several immune genes related to T and B cell activity in the skin of rainbow trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss) naturally infected with F. psychrophilum in a farm located in Lake Titicaca (Peru). The levels of expression of these genes were tested and compared to those obtained in asymptomatic and apparently healthy rainbow trout. In the case of symptomatic fish, skin samples containing characteristic ulcerative lesions were taken, as well as skin samples with no lesions. Our results pointed to a significant local up-regulation of IgD, CD4, CD8, perforin and IFNγ within the ulcerative lesions. On the other hand, no differences between the levels of expression of these genes were visible in the spleen. To confirm these results, the distribution of IgD+ and CD3+ cells was studied through immunohistochemical techniques in the ulcerative lesions. Our results demonstrate a strong local response to F. psychrophilum in rainbow trout in which IgD and T cells seem to play a major role.
The authors want to thank Lucía González and Laura Fernández for technical assistance. Dr. Erin Bromage (University of Massachusetts Dartmouth, USA) is also acknowledged for supplying the anti-IgD and anti-CD3 antibodies used in this study. This work was supported by the European Research Council (ERC Consolidator Grant 2016 725061 TEMUBLYM). Carlos Távara would like to acknowledge the financial support from the Master Program in Aquatic Animal Health of the UPCH subsidized by Cienciactiva of CONCYTEC (Management Agreement No. 230-2015- FONDECYT-DE-PROMOCION 2). Carlos Távara also would like to acknowledge Vitapro S.A. for the interest in this research and support in the development of this work. E. Muñoz-Atienza holds a Juan de la Cierva-Formación Postdoctoral Contract (FJCI-2015-24452) funded by the Spanish Ministry of Economy, Industry and Competitiveness.
Palabras clave
gamma interferon, CD4 antigen, complementary DNA, DNA 16S, elongation factor 1alpha