The upregulation of immune responses in tyrosine hydroxylase (TH) silencedLitopenaeus vannamei

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Catecholamines (CAs) play a crucial role in maintaining physiological and immune homeostasis in invertebrates and vertebrates under stressful conditions. Tyrosine hydroxylase (TH) is the first and rate-limiting enzyme in CA synthesis. To develop an effective CA-related immunological defense system against stress and pathogen infection, various criteria, were evaluated in TH double-stranded (ds) RNA-injected white shrimp, Litopenaeus vannamei. Specifically, the relative transcript quantification of TH, dopamine β-hydroxylase (DBH), crustacean hyperglycemic hormone (CHH), and other immune-related genes; TH activity in the haemolymph; and the estimation of l-dihydroxyphenylalanine (l-DOPA), glucose, and lactate levels in the haemolymph were examined. TH depletion revealed a significant increase in the total haemocyte count; granular cells; semigranular cells; respiratory bursts (RBs, release of superoxide anion); superoxide dismutase (SOD) activity; phagocytic activity and clearance efficiency; and the expression of lipopolysaccharide and β-1,3-glucan-binding protein and peroxinectin, SOD, crustin, and lysozyme genes. In addition, the reduction of TH gene expression and activity was accompanied by a decline of phenoloxidase (PO) activity per granulocyte, lower glucose and lactate levels, and significantly low expression of DBH and CHH genes. However, the number of hyaline cells, activity of PO, RBs per haemocyte, and expression of POI and POII genes were not significantly different in the LvTH-silenced shrimp. Notably, the survival ratio of LvTH-silenced shrimp was significantly higher than that of shrimp injected with diethyl pyrocarbonate–water and nontargeting dsRNA when challenged with Vibrio alginolyticus. Therefore, the depletion of TH can enhance disease resistance in shrimp by upregulating specific immune parameters but downregulating the levels of carbohydrate metabolites.

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