Rainbow trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss) adipose tissue undergoes major changes in immune gene expression following bacterial infection or stimulation with pro-inflammatory molecules

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In mammals, visceral adipose is increasingly seen as playing an important role in immune function with numerous pro-inflammatory, anti-inflammatory and immune-modulating proteins and peptides being identified in adipocytes. Adipose is also now known as a tissue that has an important role in the regulation of peritoneal immune responses. Despite this, only lately has consideration been given to visceral adipose as an important immune tissue in fish, especially in the context of intraperitoneal vaccination. The present study demonstrates that fish visceral adipose is capable of expressing a large range of immune molecules in response to stimulation with a live bacterium (A. salmonicida), a bacterial PAMP (Y. ruckeri flagellin), and the pro-inflammatory cytokines IL-1β, TNF-α3 and IFN-γ. Following infection and stimulation with flagellin and IL-1β a large upregulation of pro-inflammatory and antimicrobial molecules was seen, with a high degree of overlap. TNF-α treatment affected relatively few genes and the effects were more modest. IFN-γ had the smallest impact on adipose but IFN-γ inducible genes showed some of the largest effects. Overall, it is clear that adipose tissue should be considered an active immune site in fish, capable of participating in and influencing immune responses.

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