The generation of a variety of new therapeutic agents to control and reduce the effects of pathogen in aquaculture is urgently needed. The antimicrobial peptides (AMPs) are one of the major components of the innate defenses and typically have broad-spectrum antimicrobial activity. However, absorption and distributions of exogenous AMPs for therapeutics application on farmed fish species need to be studied. Previous studies in our laboratory have shown the properties of hepcidin as an effective antimicrobial peptide produced in fish in response to LPS and iron. Therefore, we decided to investigate the antimicrobial activity of four synthetic variants of hepcidin against Vibrio anguillarum in vitro, and using the more effective peptide we demonstrated the pathogen's ability to protect against the infection in European Sea bass. Additionally the uptake of this peptide after ip injection was demonstrated, reaching its distribution organs such as intestine, head kidney, spleen and liver. The synthetic peptide did not show cytotoxic effects and significantly reduced the accumulated mortalities percentage (23.5%) compared to the European Sea bass control (72.5%) at day 21. In conclusion, synthetic hepcidin shows antimicrobial activity against V. anguillarum and the in vivo experiments suggest that synthetic hepcidin was distributed trough the different organs in the fish. Thus, synthetic hepcidin antimicrobial peptide could have high potential for therapeutic application in farmed fish species.
- Sea bass
- Vibrio anguillarum