Maturation-associated changes in the non-specific immune response againstFlavobacterium psychrophilumin AyuPlecoglossus altivelis

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In this study, we investigated maturation-associated changes in non-specific immune responses of ayu against Flavobacterium psychrophilum. The gonadosomatic index was minimum on 16 June, began to increase on 17 July, and reached the maximum value during August. The highest phagocytic rate (16.3%) was observed on 16 June, which decreased significantly to 5.6% on 26 August. The number of viable bacteria after the serum treatment was highest during August, suggesting that bactericidal activity of the serum decreased along with the sexual maturation. Gene expression levels of interleukin-8, and tumor necrosis factor-α in the spleen did not change significantly during this period, whereas the level of suppressor of cytokine signaling (SOCS)3 was significantly higher on 26 August than that on 16 July (p < 0.05). These results suggest that phagocytic activity of trunk kidney leukocytes and serum bactericidal activity against F. psychrophilum decreased with sexual maturation, and that SOCS3 may be related to the decrease in non-specific immune activity in ayu.

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