Macrophage: A Key Player of Teleost Immune System


Fish, the free-living organisms, residing in aquatic environment, are earliest vertebrates with fully developed innate and adaptive immunity. Immune organs homologous to those of mammalian immune system are found in fish. Macrophages are best known for their role in immunity, basic function of which being cytokine production and phagocytosis. Due to environmental adaptation and whole genome duplication, macrophages in teleost are differently modulated (pro-inflammatory, M1-type, and anti-inflammatory/regulatory, M2-type) and perform a variety of different functions as compared with those of mammals. Phagocytosis is a major mechanism for removing pathogens and/or foreign particles in immune system and therefore is a critical component of the innate and adaptive immune system. One of the most competent phagocytes in teleost is found to be macrophages/monocytes. Increasing experimental evidence demonstrates that teleost phagocytic cells can recognize and destroy antigens to elicit adaptive immune responses that involve multiple cytokines. A detail understanding of teleost macrophages and phagocytosis would not only help in understanding the immune mechanism but will also help in disease prevention in teleost

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