spvlocus aggravatesSalmonellainfection of zebrafish adult by inducing Th1/Th2 shift to Th2 polarization

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Abstract

Salmonella enterica serovar typhimurium (S. typhimurium) are facultative intracellular enteric pathogens causing disease with a broad range of hosts. It was known that Th1-type cytokines such as IFN-γ, IL-12, and TNF-α etc. could induce protective immunity against intracellular pathogens, while Th2-type cytokines such as IL-4, IL-10, and IL-13 etc. are proved to help pathogens survive inside hosts and cause severe infection. One of the critical virulence factor attributes to the pathogenesis of S. typhimurium is Salmonella plasmid virulence genes (spv). Until now, the interaction between spv locus and the predictable generation of Th1 or Th2 immune responses to Salmonella has not been identified. In this study, zebrafish adults were employed to explore the effect of spv locus on Salmonella pathogenesis as well as host adaptive immune responses especially shift of Th1/Th2 balance. The pathological changes of intestines and livers in zebrafish were observed by hematoxylin-eosin (HE) staining and electron microscopy. Levels of the transcription factors of Th1 (Tbx21) and Th2 (GATA3) were measured by real-time quantitative PCR (RT-qPCR). Expression of cytokines were determined by using RT-qPCR and ELISA, respectively. Results showed that spv operon aggravates damage of zebrafish. Furthermore, it demonstrated that spv locus could inhibit the transcription of tbx21 gene and suppress the expression of cytokines IFN-γ, IL-12 and TNF-α. On the contrary, the transcription of gata3 gene could be promoted and the expression of cytokines IL-4, IL-10 and IL-13 were enhanced by spv locus. Taken together, our data revealed that spv locus could aggravate Salmonella infection of zebrafish adult by inducing an imbalance of Th1/Th2 immune response and resulting in a detrimental Th2 bias of host.

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