Zebra Fish Lacking Adaptive Immunity Acquire an Antiviral Alert State Characterized by Upregulated Gene Expression of Apoptosis, Multigene Families, and Interferon-Related Genes

Abstract

To investigate fish innate immunity, we have conducted organ and cell immune-related transcriptomic as well as immunohistologic analysis in mutant zebra fish (Danio rerio) lacking adaptive immunity (rag1-/-) at different developmental stages (egg, larvae, and adult), before and after infection with spring viremia carp virus (SVCV). The results revealed that, compared to immunocompetent zebra fish (rag1+/+ ), rag1-/- acquired increased resistance to SVCV with age, correlating with elevated transcript levels of immune genes in skin/fins and lymphoid organs (head kidney and spleen). Gene sets corresponding to apoptotic functions, immune-related multigene families, and interferon-related genes were constitutively upregulated in uninfected adult rag1-/- zebra fish. Overexpression of activated CASPASE-3 in different tissues before and after infection with SVCV further confirmed increased apoptotic function in rag1-/- zebra fish. Concurrently, staining of different tissue samples with a pan-leukocyte antibody marker showed abundant leukocyte infiltrations in SVCV-infected rag1-/- fish, coinciding with increased transcript expression of genes related to NK-cells and macrophages, suggesting that these genes played a key role in the enhanced immune response of rag1-/- zebra fish to SVCV lethal infection. Overall, we present evidence that indicates that rag1-/- zebra fish acquire an antiviral alert state while they reach adulthood in the absence of adaptive immunity. This antiviral state was characterized by (i) a more rapid response to viral infection, which resulted in increased survival, (ii) the involvement of NK-cell- and macrophage-mediated transcript responses rather than B- and/or T-cell dependent cells, and (iii) enhanced apoptosis, described here for the first time, as well as the similar modulation of multigene family/interferon-related genes previously associated to fish that survived lethal viral infections. From this and other studies, it might be concluded that some of the characteristics of mammalian trained immunity are present in lower vertebrates.

DOI: 10.3389/fimmu.2017.00121

Cite this paper

@inproceedings{GarcaValtanen2017ZebraFL, title={Zebra Fish Lacking Adaptive Immunity Acquire an Antiviral Alert State Characterized by Upregulated Gene Expression of Apoptosis, Multigene Families, and Interferon-Related Genes}, author={Pablo Garc{\'i}a-Valtanen and Alicia Mart{\'i}nez-L{\'o}pez and Azucena L{\'o}pez-Mu{\~n}oz and Melissa Bell{\'o}-P{\'e}rez and Regla Mar{\'i}a Medina-Gali and Mar{\'i}a del Mar Ortega-Villaiz{\'a}n and Monica Castro Varela and Ant{\'o}nio Figueras and Victoriano Mulero and Beatriz Novoa and Amparo Estepa and Julio Morales Coll}, booktitle={Front. Immunol.}, year={2017} }