In response to pathogens, the higher vertebrate innate immune system activates pro-inflammatory caspase-1 which is responsible for the processing and secretion of several important cytokines involved in the host's defence against infection. To date, caspase-1 has been described in few teleost fish, and its activity has been demonstrated through substrate cleavage and inhibition by pharmacological agents. In this study, the detection of the active form of caspase-1 during the immune response in salmonid fish is described, where two antibodies were produced. These antibodies differentially recognize the structural epitopes of the inactive pro-caspase-1 and the processed active form of the caspase. Firstly, caspase-1 activation was demonstrated in vitro by ELISA, Western blotting and immunocytochemistry in rainbow trout macrophages exposed to different pathogen-associated molecular patterns plus the pathogen Aeromonas hydrophila. This activity was clearly abrogated by a caspase inhibitor and seems to be unrelated to IL-1β secretion. Caspase-1 activation was then validated in vivo in gill cells from fish challenged with Aeromonas salmonicida. These results represent the first demonstration of caspase-1 activation in salmonids, and the first evidence of the putative regulatory role which this protease plays in inflammatory response in this fish group, as described for some other teleosts and mammals.
- Oncorhynchus mykiss
- Aeromonas sp
- Pathogen-associated molecular patterns