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Torgersen J.S.,Nofima AS | Koppang E.O.,Institute of Basic science and Aquatic Medicine | Stien L.H.,Norwegian Institute of Marine Research | Kohler A.,Nofima AS | And 3 more authors.
PLoS ONE | Year: 2014

Atlantic salmon (Salmo salar L.) with soft fillets are not suited for manufacturing high quality products. Therefore fillets with insufficient firmness are downgraded, leading to severe economic losses to the farming and processing industries. In the current study, morphological characteristics of salmon fillets ranging from soft to hard were analysed. Different microscopic techniques were applied, including novel methods in this field of research: morphometric image analysis, periodic acid Schiff staining, immunofluorescence microscopy, transmission electron microscopy and fourier transform infrared microscopy. The results showed that the myocytes of soft muscle had detached cells with mitochondrial dysfunctions, large glycogen aggregates and enlarged inter cellular areas, void of extracellular matrix proteins, including lower amounts of sulfated glycoproteins. Myofibre-myofibre detachment and disappearance of the endomysium in soft muscles coincided with deterioration of important connective tissue constituents such as Collagen type I (Col I), Perlecan and Aggrecan. In summary our investigations show for the first time an association between soft flesh of Atlantic salmon and massive intracellular glycogen accumulation coinciding with degenerated mitochondria, myocyte detachment and altered extracellular matrix protein distribution. The results are important for further understanding the etiology of soft salmon. © 2014 Torgersen et al.

Gjessing M.C.,Norwegian Veterinary Institute | Davey M.,University of Oslo | Davey M.,Norwegian University of Life Sciences | Kvellestad A.,Institute of Basic science and Aquatic Medicine | And 2 more authors.
Diseases of Aquatic Organisms | Year: 2011

Species of Exophiala are opportunistic fungal pathogens that may infect a broad range of warm- and cold-blooded animals, including salmonids and Atlantic cod. In the present study, we observed abnormal swimming behaviour and skin pigmentation and increased mortality in cod kept in an indoor tank. Necropsy revealed foci of different sizes with a greyish to brownish colour in internal organs of diseased fish. The foci consisted of ramifying darkly pigmented fungal hyphae surrounded by distinct layers of inflammatory cells, including macrophage-like cells. In the inner layer with many hyphae, the macrophage-like cells were dead. We observed no apparent restriction of fungal growth by the inflammatory response. A darkly pigmented fungus was repeatedly isolated in pure culture from foci of diseased fish and identified as Exophiala angulospora using morphological and molecular characters. This species has not been previously reported to cause disease in cod, but has been reported as an opportunistic pathogen of both marine and freshwater fish. Based on the morphology and sequence analysis presented here, we conclude that E. angulospora caused the observed chronic multifocal inflammation in internal organs of cod, leading to severe disease and mortality. © Inter-Research 2011.

Somamoto T.,Kyushu University | Koppang E.O.,Institute of Basic science and Aquatic Medicine | Fischer U.,Friedrich Loeffler Institute
Developmental and Comparative Immunology | Year: 2014

Cytotoxic T-cells (CTLs) play a pivotal role in eliminating viruses in mammalian adaptive immune system. Many recent studies on T-cell immunity of fish have suggested that teleost CTLs are also important for antiviral immunity. Cellular functional studies using clonal ginbuan crucian carp and rainbow trout have provided in vivo and in vitro evidence that in many respects, virus-specific CTLs of fish have functions similar to those of mammalian CTLs. In addition, mRNA expression profiles of CTL-related molecules, such as CD8, TCR and MHC class I, have shown that in a wide range of fish species, CTLs are involved in antiviral adaptive immunity. These findings are a basis to formulate possible vaccination strategies to trigger effective antiviral CTL responses in teleost fish. This review describes recent advances in our understanding of antiviral CTL functions in teleost fish and discusses vaccination strategies for efficiently inducing CTL activities. © 2013 Elsevier Ltd.

Fischer U.,Friedrich Loeffler Institute | Koppang E.O.,Institute of Basic science and Aquatic Medicine | Nakanishi T.,Nihon University
Fish and Shellfish Immunology | Year: 2013

The main function of the immune system is to maintain the organism's homeostasis when invaded by foreign material or organisms. Prior to successful elimination of the invader it is crucial to distinguish self from non-self. Most pathogens and altered cells can be recognized by immune cells through expressed pathogen- or danger-associated molecular patterns (PAMPS or DAMPS, respectively), through non-self (e.g. allogenic or xenogenic cells) or missing major histocompatibility (MHC) class I molecules (some virus-infected target cells), and by presenting foreign non-self peptides of intracellular (through MHC class I-e.g. virus-infected target cells) or extracellular (through MHC class II-e.g. from bacteria) origin. In order to eliminate invaders directly or by destroying their ability to replicate (e.g. virus-infected cells) specialized immune cells of the innate and adaptive responses appeared during evolution. The first line of defence is represented by the evolutionarily ancient macrophages and natural killer (NK) cells. These innate mechanisms are well developed in bony fish. Two types of NK cell homologues have been described in fish: non-specific cytotoxic cells and NK-like cells. Adaptive cell-mediated cytotoxicity (CMC) requires key molecules expressed on cytotoxic T lymphocytes (CTLs) and target cells. CTLs kill host cells harbouring intracellular pathogens by binding of their T cell receptor (TCR) and its co-receptor CD8 to a complex of MHC class I and bound peptide on the infected host cell. Alternatively, extracellular antigens are taken up by professional antigen presenting cells such as macrophages, dendritic cells and B cells to process those antigens and present the resulting peptides in association with MHC class II to CD4+ T helper cells. During recent years, genes encoding MHC class I and II, TCR and its co-receptors CD8 and CD4 have been cloned in several fish species and antibodies have been developed to study protein expression in morphological and functional contexts. Functional assays for innate and adaptive lymphocyte responses have been developed in only a few fish species. This review summarizes and discusses recent results and developments in the field of T and NK cell responses with focus on economically important and experimental model fish species in the context of vaccination. © 2013 Elsevier Ltd.

Larsen H.A.S.,Institute of Basic science and Aquatic Medicine | Austbo L.,Section of Genetics | Morkore T.,Nofima Marin AS | Thorsen J.,University of Oslo | And 5 more authors.
Fish and Shellfish Immunology | Year: 2012

Melanin comprises a complex group of pigmented polymers whose primary function is ascribed to dermal solar protection, but may also have an interesting role in innate immunity. In ectothermic vertebrates, melanogenesis is reported in leukocyte populations, but it is not known if this occurs in connection with inflammatory reactions. Melanin accumulations in ectopic locations, in particular muscle, represent a serious quality problem in salmon production. Here, we investigated such changes for the expression of dopachrome tautomerase and tyrosinase as well as some important immune genes and pathogens. Furthermore, the nature of the pathological changes was addressed by morphological methods. Gene transcripts encoding key enzymes in melanogenesis, suggesting a de novo melanin synthesis in pigmented muscle, were found. MHC class II transcripts were up-regulated and there was no indication of bacterial or viral infection. The histological examination revealed granulomatous inflammation with distribution of MHC class II positive cells and T cells, analogous to the pattern found in mammals. Importantly, in contrast to mammals pigmented cells were contributing in the inflammation. We demonstrate that melanin production occurs in granulomatous inflammation in salmon, revealing a close and hitherto unreported link between the pigmentary and immune systems. © 2012 Elsevier Ltd.

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