Local immune depression in Baltic cod (Gadus morhua) liver infected with Contracaecum osculatum.
J Helminthol. 2020 Jan 07;94:e112
Authors: Marnis H, Kania PW, Syahputra K, Zuo S, Buchmann K
Third-stage larvae of the anisakid nematode Contracaecum osculatum infecting cod (Gadus morhua) liver elicit a host immune response involving both innate and adaptive factors, but the reactions differ between liver and spleen. Inflammatory reactions occur in both liver and spleen, but a series of immune effector genes are downregulated in liver infected with nematodes whereas these genes in spleen from the same fish are upregulated. A series of novel primer and probe sets targeting cod immune responses were developed and applied in a real-time quantitative polymerase chain reaction set-up to measure the expression of immune-relevant genes in liver and spleen of infected and uninfected cod. In infected liver, 12 of 23 genes were regulated. Genes encoding cytokines associated with inflammatory reactions (IL-1β, IL-6, IL-8) were significantly upregulated, whereas genes encoding effector molecules, assisting the elimination of pathogens, C-reactive protein (CRP)-PII, hepcidin, lysozyme G1, lysozyme G2, C3 and IgDm, were significantly downregulated. The number of downregulated genes increased with the parasite burden. In spleen, 14 of 23 immune genes showed significant regulation and nine of these were upregulated, including genes encoding CRPI, CRPII, C3, hepcidin and transferrin. The general gene expression level was higher in spleen compared to liver, and although inflammation was induced in nematode-infected liver, the effector molecule genes were depressed, which suggests a worm-induced immune suppression locally in the liver.