Sacciform cells in the epidermis of fugu (Takifugu rubripes) produce and secrete kalliklectin, a novel lectin found in teleosts

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Kalliklectin is a novel lectin identified in the skin mucus and blood plasma of teleosts, including fugu (Takifugu rubripes). It has been found to exhibit sequence similarity to mammalian plasma kallikrein and coagulation factor XI. The objective of the present study was to clarify the cellular localization of kalliklectin using an antiserum specific to fugu kalliklectin. Immunohistochemical analysis showed that positive reactions were observed in the skin and liver, but not in other tested tissues. Several types of epidermal cells were stained by the antiserum; sacciform cells were one of the types of cells most densely stained by the antiserum in adult fugu skin, whereas mucous cells showed negative staining results. RT-PCR demonstrated that the kalliklectin gene was transcribed in the mucous cell-poor region of adult fugu skin, where sacciform cells were present. These results indicated that epidermal cells, including sacciform cells, produce kalliklectin and secrete it into the mucus.HighlightsAnti-fugu kalliklectin rabbit serum was generated for immunohistochemistry.Positive signal was detected in the sacciform cells of adult fugu epidermis.Positive reaction was observed in the epidermal cells of the juvenile fugu skin.Kalliklectin gene was expressed in the sacciform cell-rich region of adult skin.Sacciform cells produce kalliklectin and secrete it into skin mucus.[]

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