Macrophages exist in most tissues and play a variety of functions in vertebrates. Teleost fish species are found in most aquatic environments throughout the world and are quite diverse for a group of vertebrate animals. Due to whole genome duplication and environmental adaptation, teleost monocytes/macrophages possess a variety of different functions and modulations compared with those of mammals. A deeper understanding of teleost monocytes/macrophages in the immune system will not only help develop teleost-specific methods of disease prevention but will also help improve our understanding of the various immune mechanisms in mammals. In this review, we summarize the differences in polarization and phagocytosis of teleost and mammalian macrophages to improve our understanding of the various immune mechanisms in vertebrates.
Ephrin receptors are the most common tyrosine kinase effectors operating during development. Ephrin receptor genes are reported to be up-regulated in the regenerating tail of the Podarcis muralis lizard. Thus, in the current study, we investigated immunolocalization of ephrin receptors in the Podarcis muralis tail during regeneration. Weak immunolabelled bands for ephrin receptors were detected at 15–17 kDa, with a stronger band also detected at 60–65 kDa. Labelled cells and nuclei were seen in the basal layer of the apical wound epidermis and ependyma, two key tissues stimulating tail regeneration. Strong nuclear and cytoplasmic labelling were present in the segmental muscles of the regenerating tail, sparse blood vessels, and perichondrium of regenerating cartilage. The immunolocalization of ephrin receptors in muscle that gives rise to large portions of new tail tissue was correlated with their segmentation. This study suggests that the high localization of ephrin receptors in differentiating epidermis, ependyma, muscle, and cartilaginous cells is connected to the regulation of cell proliferation through the activation of programs for cell differentiation in the proximal regions of the regenerating tail. The lower immunolabelling of ephrin receptors in the apical blastema, where signaling proteins stimulating cell proliferation are instead present, helps maintain the continuous growth of this region.
Classical Fc receptors (FcRs) mediate the binding to and recognition of the Fc portion of antibodies and play an important role during immune responses in mammals. Although proteins similar to soluble FcRs have been identified in fish, little is known about the role of such proteins in fish immunity. Here, we cloned a cDNA sequence encoding a soluble Fc receptor for an immunoglobulin G (FcγR) homolog from ayu (Plecoglossus altivelis) (PaFcγRl). The predicted protein was composed of two immunoglobulin C2-like domains but lacked a transmembrane segment and a cytoplasmic tail. The PaFcγRl transcripts were distributed at low levels in all tested tissues, but significantly increased after Vibrio anguillarum infection. The PaFcγRl protein was expressed in the head kidney, trunk kidney, and neutrophils. Recombinant PaFcγRl (rPaFcγRl) was secreted when transfected into mammalian cells and the native protein was also detected in serum upon infection. rPaFcγRl was also demonstrated to bind to ayu IgM, as assessed by cell transfection. Suppressive activity of the recombinant mature protein of PaFcγRl (rPaFcγRlm) on in vitro anti-sheep red blood cell (SRBC) responses was detected by a modified hemolytic plaque forming cell assay. In conclusion, our study revealed that PaFcγRl is closely involved in the negative regulation of IgM production in the ayu spleen.
Ambient temperature is an important factor influencing many physiological processes, including antioxidant defense and immunity. In the present study, we tested the hypothesis that antioxidant defense and immunity are suppressed by high and low temperature treatment in Brandt’s voles (Lasiopodomys brandtii). Thirty male voles were randomly assigned into different temperature groups (4, 23, and 32 °C, n=10 for each group), with the treatment course lasting for 27 d. Results showed that low temperature increased gross energy intake (GEI) and liver, heart, and kidney mass, but decreased body fat mass and dry carcass mass. With the decline in temperature, hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) concentration, which is indicative of reactive oxygen species (ROS) levels, increased in the liver, decreased in the heart, and was unchanged in the kidney, testis, and small intestine. Lipid peroxidation indicated by malonaldehyde (MDA) content in the liver, heart, kidney, testis, and small intestine did not differ among groups, implying that high and low temperature did not cause oxidative damage. Similarly, superoxide dismutase (SOD) and catalase (CAT) activities and total antioxidant capacity (T-AOC) in the five tissues did not respond to low or high temperature, except for elevation of CAT activity in the testis upon cold exposure. Bacteria killing capacity, which is indicative of innate immunity, was nearly suppressed in the 4 °C group in contrast to the 23 °C group, whereas spleen mass and white blood cells were unaffected by temperature treatment. The levels of testosterone, but not corticosterone, were influenced by temperature treatment, though neither were correlated with innate immunity, H2O2 and MDA levels, or SOD, CAT, and T-AOC activity in any detected tissues. Overall, these results showed that temperature had different influences on oxidative stress, antioxidant enzymes, and immunity, which depended on the tissues and parameters tested. Up-regulation or maintenance of antioxidant defense might be an important mechanism for voles to survive highly variable environmental temperatures.
Hemorrhagic septicemia is an acute, highly fatal disease that affects goldfish (Carassius auratus). To gain a better understanding of related immune genes, the transcriptomes of the skin and head kidney of goldfish suffering hemorrhagic septicemia were sequenced, assembled, and characterized. Based on functional annotation, an extensive and diverse catalog of expressed genes were identified in both the skin and head kidney. As two different organs, pair-wise comparison identified 122/77 unigenes up/down-regulated (two-fold change with P<0.05) in the skin and head kidney. Most genes of the immune pathways were expressed and isolated in both skin and head kidney, including interferon (IFN) transcription factors 1–10 and Toll-like receptors (TLRs). Interferon regulatory factor 3 (IRF3), a key IFN transcription factor, was up-regulated at the transcriptional level by polyriboinosinic: polyribocytidylic acid (poly I:C) challenge and regulated the IFN response by increasing the activity of IFN-β and IFN-stimulated response element (ISRE)-containing promoter. This study will benefit the identification and understanding of novel genes that play important roles in the immunological reactions of fish suffering from hemorrhagic septicemia.
Leukocyte cell-derived chemotaxin 2 (LECT2), a multifunctional hepatokine, is involved in many pathological conditions. However, its role in atherosclerosis remains undefined. In this study, we administered vehicle or LECT2 to male Apoe-/- mice fed a Western diet for 15 weeks. Atherosclerotic lesions were visualized and quantified with Oil-red O and hematoxylin staining. The mRNA expression levels of MCP-1, MMP-1, IL-8, IL-1β, and TNF-α were analyzed by quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction. Serum TNF-α, IL-1β, IL-8, MCP-1, and MMP-1 concentrations were measured by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. CD68, CD31, and α-SMA, markers of macrophages, endothelial cells, and smooth muscle cells, respectively, were detected by immunostaining. Results showed that LECT2 reduced total cholesterol and low-density lipoprotein concentrations in serum and inhibited the development of atherosclerotic lesions, accompanied by reductions in inflammatory cytokines and lower MCP-1, MMP-1, TNF-α, IL-8, and IL-1β mRNA abundance. Furthermore, LECT2 decreased CD68, but increased α-SMA in atherosclerotic lesions, suggesting an increase in smooth muscle cells and reduction in macrophages. In summary, LECT2 inhibited the development of atherosclerosis in mice, accompanied by reduced serum total cholesterol concentration and lower inflammatory responses.
Microbial translocation is a cause of systemic immune activation in HIV/SIV infection. In the present study, we found a lower CD8+ T cell activation level in Macaca leonina (northern pig-tailed macaques, NPMs) than in Macaca mulatta (Chinese rhesus macaques, ChRMs) during SIVmac239 infection. Furthermore, the levels of plasma LPS-binding protein and soluble CD14 in NPMs were lower than those in ChRMs. Compared with ChRMs, SIV-infected NPMs had lower Chiu scores, representing relatively normal intestinal mucosa. In addition, no obvious damage to the ileum or colon epithelial barrier was observed in either infected or uninfected NPMs, which differed to that found in ChRMs. Furthermore, no significant microbial translocation (Escherichia coli) was detected in the colon or ileum of infected or uninfected NPMs, which again differed to that observed in ChRMs. In conclusion, NPMs retained superior intestinal integrity and limited microbial translocation during SIV infection, which may contribute to their lower immune activation compared with ChRMs.
D-dopachrome tautomerase (DDT), a member of the macrophage migration inhibitory factor (MIF) protein superfamily, is a newly described cytokine with chemokine-like characteristics. However, research on fish DDT remains limited. In this study, we identified a DDT homolog (LjDDT) from the Japanese sea bass, Lateolabrax japonicus. Sequence analysis showed that LjDDT had typical sequence features of known DDT and MIF homologs and was most closely related to DDT of rock bream (Oplegnathus fasciatus). LjDDT transcripts were detected in all tested tissues of healthy Japanese sea bass, with the highest expression found in the liver. Upon infection with Vibrio harveyi, LjDDT transcripts were significantly down-regulated in the three tested tissues, including the liver, spleen, and head kidney. Recombinant LjDDT (rLjDDT) and the corresponding antibody (anti-rLjDDT) were subsequently prepared. The administration of 100 μg/g anti-rLjDDT had a statistically significant protective effect on the survival of V. harveyi-infected fish. Moreover, rLjDDT was able to induce the migration of monocytes/macrophages (MO/MФ) and lymphocytes both in vitro and in vivo, but without significant influence on the migration of neutrophils. rLjDDT exhibited chemotactic activity for lipopolysaccharide (LPS) -stimulated M1-type MO/ MΦ in vitro, but not for cAMP-stimulated M2-type MO/MΦ. Furthermore, the knockdown of LjCD74, but not LjCXCR4, significantly down-regulated the rLjDDT-enhanced migration of MO/MΦ and relieved the rLjMIF-inhibited migration of MO/MΦ. These results indicate that LjCD74 may be the major chemotactic receptor of LjDDT and LjMIF in Japanese sea bass MO/MΦ. Combined rLjDDT+ rLjMIF treatment had no significant effect on the migration of MsiRNA, LjCD74si-, or LjCXCR4sitreated MO/MΦ compared to the control group, suggesting that the roles of LjDDT and LjMIF may be antagonistic. In conclusion, our study demonstrates for the first time that DDT may play a role in the immune responses of fish against bacterial infection through chemotactic recruitment of MO/MΦ via mediation of CD74 as an antagonist of MIF.
The development of an effective tetravalent vaccine against dengue viruses (DENVs) has become a world priority. We previously showed that four monovalent dengue DNA vaccines expressing premembrane (prM) and envelope (E) proteins displayed effective protection against corresponding challenges in mice. Thus, to elucidate the overall immunity and persistence of the tetravalent formulation (TetraME), we evaluated the humoral and cellular immune responses as well as the long-term protection in the current study. TetraME-immunized mice displayed increased production of Th1/Th2-typed cytokines upon stimulation with heterologous DENV antigens. Moreover, high levels of tetravalent DENV antibodies and sterilized immunity were detected long-term (30 weeks after immunization). These findings provide feasible validation for the potential utility of this vaccine formulation.
There is a growing appreciation for the specific health benefits conferred by commensal microbiota on their hosts. Clinical microbiota analysis and animal studies in germ-free or antibiotic-treated mice have been crucial for improving our understanding of the role of the microbiome on the host mucosal surface; however, studies on the mechanisms involved in microbiome-host interactions remain limited to small animal models. Here, we demonstrated that rhesus monkeys under short-term broad-spectrum antibiotic treatment could be used as a model to study the gut mucosal host-microbiome niche and immune balance with steady health status. Results showed that the diversity and community structure of the gut commensal bacteria in rhesus monkeys were both disrupted after antibiotic treatment. Furthermore, the 16S rDNA amplicon sequencing results indicated that Escherichia-Shigella were predominant in stool samples 9 d of treatment, and the abundances of bacterial functional genes and predicted KEGG pathways were significantly changed. In addition to inducing aberrant morphology of small intestinal villi, the depletion of gut commensal bacteria led to increased proportions of CD3+ T, CD4+ T, and CD16+ NK cells in peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs), but decreased numbers of Treg and CD20+ B cells. The transcriptome of PBMCs from antibiotic-treated monkeys showed that the immune balance was affected by modulation of the expression of many functional genes, including IL-13, VCAM1, and LGR4.
The composition and diversity of the human vaginal microbial community have been investigated intensively due to the diversity-stability relationship (DSR)-based hypothesis for bacterial vaginosis (BV) etiology, which was first proposed in the 1990s and has received renewed interest in recent years. Nevertheless, diversity changes (scaling) across individuals in a cohort or population have not yet been addressed, which is significant both theoretically and practically. Theoretically, biodiversity scaling is the core of biogeography, and practically, inter-subject heterogeneity is critical for understanding the etiology and epidemiology of human microbiome-associated diseases such as BV. Here we applied the diversity-area relationship (DAR), a recent extension to the classic species-area relationship (SAR), to study diversity scaling of the vaginal microbiome by reanalyzing reported data collected from 1 107 postpartum women. The model used here characterized the power-law (or its extension) relationships between accrued diversity and areas (numbers of individuals), upon which four biogeographic profiles were thus defined. Specifically, we established the DAR profile (relationship between diversity scaling parameter and so-termed diversity order (q)), similarly pair-wise diversity overlap (PDO) profile, maximal accrual diversity (MAD) profile, and ratio of individual-level to population-level diversity (RIP) profile. These four profiles offer valuable tools to assess and predict diversity scaling (changes) in the human vaginal microbiome across individuals, as well as to understand the dynamics of vaginal microbiomes in healthy women.
The discovery of antibiotics marked a golden age in the revolution of human medicine. However, decades later, bacterial infections remain a global healthcare threat, and a return to the pre-antibiotic era seems inevitable if stringent measures are not adopted to curb the rapid emergence and spread of multidrug resistance and the indiscriminate use of antibiotics. In hospital settings, multidrug resistant (MDR) pathogens, including carbapenem-resistant Pseudomonas aeruginosa, vancomycin-resistant enterococci (VRE), methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), and extended-spectrum β-lactamases (ESBL) bearing Acinetobacter baumannii, Escherichia coli, and Klebsiella pneumoniae are amongst the most problematic due to the paucity of treatment options, increased hospital stay, and exorbitant medical costs. Antimicrobial peptides (AMPs) provide an excellent potential strategy for combating these threats. Compared to empirical antibiotics, they show low tendency to select for resistance, rapid killing action, broad-spectrum activity, and extraordinary clinical efficacy against several MDR strains. Therefore, this review highlights multidrug resistance among nosocomial bacterial pathogens and its implications and reiterates the importance of AMPs as next-generation antibiotics for combating MDR superbugs.
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