Effect of vitamin C on innate immune responses of rainbow trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss) leukocytes

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Vitamin C, also known as ascorbic acid, is an essential micronutrient that influences a wide variety of physiological processes, including immunological functions. Although the positive effects of vitamin C supplementation on the immunological status of fish has been established in different species, the bases for these positive effects are still unknown. Hence, the aim of our study was to evaluate the in vitro effect of vitamin C on several innate immune functions of rainbow trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss) leukocyte populations. For this, we assessed the effects exerted on the established rainbow trout monocyte-macrophage cell line RTS11, and compared them to those observed in trout head kidney leukocytes. Our results demonstrate that vitamin C increases the production of reactive oxygen species and the percentage of phagocytic cells in both cell populations. On the other hand, vitamin C had no effect on the surface MHC II levels and only in the case of RTS11 cells increased the capacity of these cells to migrate towards the CK9 chemokine. Finally, vitamin C also increased the transcription of several pro-inflammatory and antimicrobial genes elicited by Escherichia coli, with some differences depending on the cell population studied. Our results contribute to further understand how vitamin C supplementation regulates the fish immune system.HighlightsVitamin C increases the respiratory burst of trout RTS11 cells and head kidney leukocytes.Vitamin C increases the percentage of phagocytic cells in trout RTS11 and head kidney leukocyte cultures.The capacity of RTS11 cells to migrate to CK9 is increased by vitamin C.The transcriptomic response to E. coli is modulated by vitamin C in a cell-specific way.

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