Expression profiling analysis of immune-related genes in channel catfish (Ictalurus punctatus) skin mucus following Flavobacterium columnare challenge.
Fish & shellfish immunology
Fish are covered by a watery gel-mucus, mainly secreted by the goblet cells, serving as the physical and biochemical barrier between the external environment and the interior milieu, playing more important roles in fish that without scale. Despite the important roles of mucus in fish immunity, the knowledge of detailed molecular events happened during infection process is still limited. While most studies were focused on characterizing the protein and enzyme activities in the mucus following challenge, no studies have examined the gene expression profiles in fish mucus. In this regard, herein we carried out the first gene profiling analysis in catfish mucus using real-time PCR. Ten important immune-related genes were selected according to our previous studies. Their expression levels were examined in the early timepoints (namely, 1 h, 2 h, 4 h, 8 h, and 24 h) following Flavobacterium columnare challenge. Notably, expression levels of most of the selected genes were rapidly altered by the challenge. Seven genes were down-regulated, while only three genes were up-regulated. In addition, the gene expression patterns in mucus were very different from the mucosal surfaces (skin, gill and intestine) and the classical immune organs (liver, spleen and kidney). The unique expression patterns obtained here may be resulted from the great advantage of the large amount of attached bacteria in the mucus than the internal tissues, and resulted from the bacteria virulent actors to suppress the host immune response. Taken together, our results can expand our knowledge of fish mucosal immunity, and the un-lethal mucus sampling can provide early insight for developing the strategies for selection of disease resistant families and strains in catfish as well as other fish species. Copyright =C2=A9 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
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