67 research outputs found

    A Multidisciplinary Approach Evaluating Soybean Meal-Induced Enteritis in Rainbow Trout Oncorhynchus mykiss

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    This study evaluated a diverse range of markers of feeding stress to obtain a more precise assessment of the welfare of rainbow trout in relation to inadequate husbandry conditions. A feeding stress model based on dietary soybean meal was employed to identify suitable minimally invasive “classical” stress markers, together with molecular signatures. In a 56-day feeding experiment, rainbow trout were fed diets containing different levels of soybean meal. The impact of these different soybean meal diets on rainbow trout was assessed by water quality analyses, clinical health observations, classic growth and performance parameters, gut histopathology, blood-parameter measurements and multigene-expression profiling in RNA from whole blood. Soybean meal-induced enteritis was manifested phenotypically by an inflammatory reaction in the posterior section of the intestine and by diarrhoea in some trout. These inflammatory changes were associated with decreased supranuclear vacuolation. The haematocrit values and the levels of plasma cortisol and circulating lymphocytes in the blood were increased in trout that had consumed high amounts of SBM. Notably, the increased haematocrit depended significantly on the bodyweight of the individual trout. The transcript levels of certain genes (e.g., MAP3K1, LYG, NOD1, STAT1 and HSP90AB) emerged as potentially useful indicators in the blood of rainbow trout providing valuable information about inadequate nutrition. The expression-profiling findings provide a basis for improved, minimally invasive monitoring of feeding regimens in trout farming and may stimulate the development of practical detection devices for innovative aquaculture operations

    The synergistic interaction of thermal stress coupled with overstocking strongly modulates the transcriptomic activity and immune capacity of rainbow trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss)

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    The objective of the present study is to identify and evaluate informative indicators for the welfare of rainbow trout exposed to (A) a water temperature of 27 °C and (B) a stocking density of 100 kg/m3 combined with a temperature of 27 °C. The spleen-somatic and condition index, haematocrit and the concentrations of haemoglobin, plasma cortisol and glucose revealed non-significant differences between the two stress groups and the reference group 8 days after the onset of the experiments. The transcript abundance of almost 1,500 genes was modulated at least twofold in in the spleen of rainbow trout exposed to a critical temperature alone or a critical temperature combined with crowding as compared to the reference fish. The number of differentially expressed genes was four times higher in trout that were simultaneously challenged with high temperature and crowding, compared to trout challenged with high temperature alone. Based on these sets of differentially expressed genes, we identified unique and common tissue- and stress type-specific pathways. Furthermore, our subsequent immunologic analyses revealed reduced bactericidal and inflammatory activity and a significantly altered blood-cell composition in challenged versus non-challenged rainbow trout. Altogether, our data demonstrate that heat and overstocking exert synergistic effects on the rainbow trout’s physiology, especially on the immune system.publishedVersio

    Effect of two constant light regimens on antibody profiles and immune gene expression in Atlantic salmon following vaccination and experimental challenge with salmonid alphavirus

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    Before seawater transfer, farmed Atlantic salmon are subjected to treatments that may affect the immune system and susceptibility to pathogens. E.g., exposure to constant light (CL) stimulates smoltification, which prepares salmon to life in sea water, but endocrine changes in this period are associated with suppression of immune genes. Salmon are vaccinated towards end of the freshwater period to safeguard that adequate vaccine efficacy is achieved by the time the fish is transferred to sea. In the present study, we investigated how the responses to vaccination and viral infection varied depending on the time of CL onset relative to vaccination. The salmon were either exposed to CL two weeks prior to vaccination (2-PRI) or exposed to CL at the time of vaccination (0-PRI). A cohabitant challenge with salmonid alphavirus, the causative agent of pancreatic disease, was performed 9 weeks post vaccination. The immunological effects of the different light manipulation were examined at 0- and 6-weeks post vaccination, and 6 weeks post challenge. Antibody levels in serum were measured using a serological bead-based multiplex panel as well as ELISA, and 92 immune genes in heart and spleen were measured using an integrated fluidic circuit-based qPCR array for multiple gene expression. The 2-PRI group showed a moderate transcript down-regulation of genes in the heart at the time of vaccination, which were restored 6 weeks after vaccination (WPV). Conversely, at 6WPV a down-regulation was seen for the 0-PRI fish. Moreover, the 2-PRI group had significantly higher levels of antibodies binding to three of the vaccine components at 6WPV, compared to 0-PRI. In response to SAV challenge, transcription of immune genes between 2-PRI and 0-PRI was markedly dissimilar in the heart and spleen of control fish, but no difference was found between vaccinated salmon from the two CL regimens. Thus, by using labor-saving high throughput detection methods, we demonstrated that light regimens affected antibody production and transcription of immune genes in non-vaccinated and virus challenged salmon, but the differences between the light treatment groups appeared eliminated by vaccination.publishedVersio

    Photoperiod in recirculation aquaculture systems and timing of seawater transfer affect seawater growth performance of Atlantic salmon (Salmo salar)

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    Production of Atlantic salmon smolts in recirculation aquaculture systems (RAS) is growing, and novel production protocols using continuous light in RAS are being implemented in the industry. In the present study, Atlantic Salmon parr were exposed to either a traditional protocol (short-day winter signal [12:12 L:D] for 6 weeks) or to continuous light. Both photoperiods were applied in freshwater (FW) and brackish water RAS. Salmon from all treatments were transferred to seawater pens at 200 and 600 g and grown until slaughter size. A control group was smoltified with a 6-week short-day winter signal and kept in FW until sea transfer at 100 g. Continuous light gave a higher growth rate in RAS but reduced feed intake and growth and increased feed conversion ratio during the first 8 weeks in seawater. However, at slaughter, fish exposed to continuous light was bigger than fish given a winter signal because of the higher growth rate in RAS. Slaughter weight was lowest in fish transferred to sea at 600 g, despite having the highest day-degree sum during their life span. The best performing group was the control group transferred at 100 g. All treatments handled transfer to seawater and survival and maturation were not affected by the treatments in RAS. The immune status was examined with a multigene expression assay on BioMark HD platform from parr stage to 5–7 months after seawater transfer. Overall, there was no significant effect of photoperiod or salinity on the expression of the selected immune genes. In sum, the results from this study indicate that using continuous light in RAS may have negative effects on performance shortly after transfer in fish transferred to sea at 200 g, whereas at 600 g, all treatments had reduced growth after transfer irrespective of treatment in RAS.publishedVersio

    Development of Atlantic Salmon (Salmo salar L.) Under Hypoxic Conditions Induced Sustained Changes in Expression of Immune Genes and Reduced Resistance to Moritella viscosa

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    Atlantic salmon is characterized with high sensitivity to low dissolved oxygen (DO) levels. Hypoxia can affect diverse biological processes with consequences that can be manifested immediately or with delay. Effects of hypoxia on the immune system and the resistance to a bacterial pathogen were investigated. Two groups were reared at, respectively, normal (NO, 80–100%) and low (LO, 60%) levels of DO over 10 months after which both groups were reared at NO. Smoltification was initiated after 13 months by a winter signal for 6 weeks, followed by constant light for 6 weeks. Samples were collected at the start and end of the constant light period. Expression of 92 immune and stress genes was analyzed in the gill, head kidney, and spleen using a Biomark HD. Most of differentially expressed genes showed higher levels in LO fish compared to NO fish; many immune genes were downregulated during smoltification and these changes were stronger in NO fish. A notable exception was pro-inflammatory genes upregulated in gill of NO fish. Further, salmon were challenged with Moritella viscosa, the causative agent of winter ulcer. Mortality was registered from 5 days post infection (dpi) to the end of trial at 36 dpi. Survival was consistently higher in NO than LO fish, reaching a maximum difference of 18% at 21–23 dpi that reduced to 10% at the end. Analyses with a genome-wide microarray at 36 dpi showed strong responses to the pathogen in gill and spleen. Notable features were the stimulation of eicosanoid metabolism, suggesting an important role of lipid mediators of inflammation, and the downregulation of chemokines. Many immune effectors were activated, including multiple lectins and acute phase proteins, enzymes producing free radicals, and matrix metalloproteinases. The transcriptomic changes induced with a bacterial challenge were similar in NO and LO. After the challenge, interferons a and g and panel of genes of innate antiviral immunity showed higher expression in LO, especially in the gill. The results from the present study suggest that chronic hypoxia in early life stimulated immune genes and attenuated their downregulation associated with smoltification. However, these changes did not improve protection against a bacterial pathogen of major concern in salmon aquaculture

    Large expert-curated database for benchmarking document similarity detection in biomedical literature search

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    Document recommendation systems for locating relevant literature have mostly relied on methods developed a decade ago. This is largely due to the lack of a large offline gold-standard benchmark of relevant documents that cover a variety of research fields such that newly developed literature search techniques can be compared, improved and translated into practice. To overcome this bottleneck, we have established the RElevant LIterature SearcH consortium consisting of more than 1500 scientists from 84 countries, who have collectively annotated the relevance of over 180 000 PubMed-listed articles with regard to their respective seed (input) article/s. The majority of annotations were contributed by highly experienced, original authors of the seed articles. The collected data cover 76% of all unique PubMed Medical Subject Headings descriptors. No systematic biases were observed across different experience levels, research fields or time spent on annotations. More importantly, annotations of the same document pairs contributed by different scientists were highly concordant. We further show that the three representative baseline methods used to generate recommended articles for evaluation (Okapi Best Matching 25, Term Frequency-Inverse Document Frequency and PubMed Related Articles) had similar overall performances. Additionally, we found that these methods each tend to produce distinct collections of recommended articles, suggesting that a hybrid method may be required to completely capture all relevant articles. The established database server located at https://relishdb.ict.griffith.edu.au is freely available for the downloading of annotation data and the blind testing of new methods. We expect that this benchmark will be useful for stimulating the development of new powerful techniques for title and title/abstract-based search engines for relevant articles in biomedical research.Peer reviewe

    Multigene expression assay for assessment of the immune status of Atlantic Salmon

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    We report the development of a multigene gene expression assay on the BioMark HD platform for the evaluation of immune competence (ImCom) in farmed Atlantic salmon. The first version of the assay included 92 genes selected on the basis of transcriptome analyses in 54 trials that challenged the immune system; annotations were taken into account to represent the key pathways of innate and adaptive immunity. ImCom was tested on samples collected from seven independent projects. Fish were reared from the start feeding to eight months in the sea at eight units in different parts of Norway. Several tissues were analyzed. Linear discriminant analysis (LDA) showed that no more than 10 genes were required to separate groups, and a set of 46 immune genes was sufficient for any task. The second version of the assay was tested in the gills of two groups of high-performing healthy smolts and in groups with intermediate and high mortality rates (IM and HM, respectively). A set of 645 gill samples from clinically healthy Atlantic salmon was used as a reference. The IM group showed general suppression of immunity. All HM group salmon were above the threshold by the squared deviation from the reference. This group showed marked upregulation of genes involved in acute stress and inflammation: mmp-9, mmp-13, hsp70, il-1b, lect2, and cathelicidin. Further work will clarify the boundaries of the norm and explore various cases of impaired immunity.publishedVersio

    Characterisation of the teleostean κB-Ras family: The two members NKIRAS1 and NKIRAS2 from rainbow trout influence the activity of NF-κB in opposite ways

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    Two structurally similar NF-κB-inhibitor-interacting Ras-like proteins (NKIRAS) regulate the activity of the transcription factor NF-κB and thereby control several early immune mechanisms in mammals. We identified the orthologous sequences of NKIRAS1 and NKIRAS2 from the rainbow trout Oncorhynchus mykiss. The level of sequence identity was similarly high (≥68%) between the two and in comparison to their mammalian counterparts. Strikingly, NKIRAS2 was present as four transcript variants. These variants differed only in length and in the nucleotide composition of their 5’ termini and were most likely generated by splicing along unconventional splice sites. The shortest NKIRAS2 variant was most strongly expressed in a lymphocyte-enriched population, while NKIRAS1 was most strongly expressed in cells of myeloid origin. Fluorescent-labelled NKIRAS1 and NKIRAS2 proteins from rainbow trout were detected in close association with the p65 subunit of NF-κB in the nucleus and cytoplasm of CHSE-214 cells. Subsequent reporter-gene experiments revealed that NKIRAS1 and a longer NKIRAS2 variant in rainbow trout decreased the level of activated NF-κB, while the two shortest NKIRAS2 variants increased the NF-κB activity. In addition, the overexpression of the shortest NKIRAS2 variant in CHSE-214 cells induced a stronger transcription of the genes encoding the pro-inflammatory cytokines TNF, CXCL8, and IL1B compared to non-transfected control cells. This is the first characterisation of NKIRAS orthologues in bony fish and provides additional information to the as yet underexplored inhibition pathways of NF-κB in lower vertebrates.publishedVersio

    Under control: The innate immunity of fish from the inhibitors' perspective

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    The innate immune response involves a concerted network of induced gene products, preformed immune effectors, biochemical signalling cascades and specialised cells. However, the multifaceted activation of these defensive measures can derail or overshoot and, if left unchecked, overwhelm the host. A plenty of regulatory devices therefore mediate the fragile equilibrium between pathogen defence and pathophysiological manifestations. Over the past decade in particular, an almost complete set of teleostean sequences orthologous to mammalian immunoregulatory factors has been identified in various fish species, which prove the remarkable conservation of innate immune-control concepts among vertebrates. This review will present the current knowledge on more than 50 teleostean regulatory factors (plus additional fish-specific paralogs) that are of paramount importance for controlling the clotting cascade, the complement system, pattern-recognition pathways and cytokine-signalling networks. A special focus lies on those immunoregulatory features that have emerged as potential biomarker genes in transcriptome-wide research studies. Moreover, we report on the latest progress in elucidating control elements that act directly with immune-gene-encoding nucleic acids, such as transcription factors, hormone receptors and micro- and long noncoding RNAs. Investigations into the function of teleostean inhibitory factors are still mainly based on gene-expression profiling or overexpression studies. However, in support of structural and in-vitro analyses, evidence from in-vivo trials is also available and revealed many biochemical details on piscine immune regulation. The presence of multiple gene copies in fish adds a degree of complexity, as it is so far hardly understood if they might play distinct roles during inflammation. The present review addresses this and other open questions that should be tackled by fish immunologists in future
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