Immune Modulation Ability of Hepcidin from Teleost Fish

Claudio Andrés Álvarez, Paula A. Santana, Nicolás Salinas-Parra, Dina Beltrán, Fanny Guzmán, Belinda Vega, Félix Acosta, Luis Mercado

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Antimicrobial peptides (AMP) play an essential role in the innate immune system, modulating the defense response. In a previous study, we demonstrated the antimicrobial activity of synthetic hepcidin (hep20) from rainbow trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss), and its protective effect in European sea bass (Dicentrarchus labrax) challenged with Vibrio anguillarum. Additionally, we described the uptake and distribution of hep20 in different tissues and leukocyte cells. Interestingly, various AMPs characterized in high vertebrates, called host defense peptides (HDPs), also possess immunomodulation activity. For that reason, the present study explores the immunomodulatory abilities of hep20 through in vitro and in vivo studies. First, a monocyte/macrophage RTS-11 cell line from rainbow trout was used to evaluate hep20 effects on pro-and anti-inflammatory cytokines in fish leukocyte cells. Next, the European sea bass juveniles were used to determine if hep20 can regulate the expression of cytokines in fish immune tissues. The results show that hep20 was uptake inner to RTS-11 cells and was able to induce the expression of IL-10, IL-1β, and TNFα at transcriptional and protein levels. Then, the European sea bass juveniles were given intraperitoneal injections of the peptide. At 1, 3, 7, 14, and 21 days post-injection (dpi), IL-10, IL-1β, and TNFα mRNA were quantified in the anterior gut, spleen, and head kidney. The hep20 was able to up-regulate cytokine gene expression in these tissues, mainly in the head kidney. Furthermore, the evaluated cytokines showed a cyclical tendency of higher to lesser expression. Finally, a bioinformatics analysis showed that the structure adopted by hep20 is similar to the γ-core domain described for cysteine-stabilized AMP, defined as immunomodulatory and antimicrobial, which could explain the ability of hep20 to regulate the cytokine expression. This study provides new insights into immunomodulatory function complementary to the previously established antimicrobial activity of hep20, suggesting a role as an HDP in teleost fish. These facts are likely to be associated with molecular functions underpinning the protective effect of fish hepcidin against pathogens.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1586
JournalAnimals
Volume12
Issue number12
DOIs
StatePublished - 1 Jun 2022
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • cytokines
  • D. labrax
  • hepcidin
  • host defense peptide
  • O. mykiss

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