IgM, IgD and IgY and their expression pattern in the Chinese soft-shelled turtlePelodiscus sinensis

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Three Ig isotypes, IgM, IgD, and IgA, were previously known in reptiles. Here, in this report we describe IgM, IgD and a novel immunoglobulin heavy-chain isotype upsilon (IgY) in Chinese soft-shelled turtle (Pelodiscus sinensis). The IgM and IgY constant domains are characteristically similar to their counterparts described in other vertebrates. The expression of IgM and IgD were detected at mRNA level early during embryonic development, and their expression increased during further development. However, the IgY expression was not detected in larval turtles until 90 days after hatching-out. The increase in the transcription of these three Ig molecules was analyzed by using real-time PCR in spleen, kidney and blood following the injection of inactivated Aeromonas hydrophila. The primary increase in the expression of these three Igs was observed 1 week after the first injection, although not statistically significant, and the second injection 2 weeks after the first injection provoked a significant increase in the expression of these Igs, revealing a pattern of primary and secondary antibody response in the turtle. The present study represents the first report on reptile IgY and the pattern of IgM, IgD and IgY transcription in reptiles.

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