Evolution of lymphocytes. Immunoglobulin T of the teleost sea bass (Dicentrarchus labrax): Quantitation of gene expressing and immunoreactive cells

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Immunoglobulin T (IgT) is one of the key effector molecules of jawed vertebrate's adaptive immune system, and in this work we describe the quantitative distribution of IgT-expressing and IgT-producing cells in tissues of the European seabass Dicentrarchus labrax by using mRNA riboprobes and a specific anti-IgT antibody.

A polyclonal antiserum (pAb) was prepared by immunizing rabbits with three synthetic peptides deduced from the full length IgT cDNA sequence and located in a surface-exposed CH3 domain of IgT constant region. The obtained antiserum, named RAIgT1, was able to recognize by ELISA immunization antigens and IgT from intestinal mucus and serum. In western blots of head kidney leukocytes lysates the antiserum recognized a 180 kDa polypeptide in non-reducing, and a 75 kDa peptide in reducing conditions. Interestingly, the RAIgT1 pAb crossreacted intensely in western blots with rainbow trout IgT purified from mucus and serum.

Antisense mRNA IgT oligonucleotide sequences were employed in in situ hybridization to detect IgT-expressing cells in sections from lymphoid tissues, and positive cells were observed in head kidney, spleen, intestine and gills. By employing RAIgT1 in quantitative immunohistochemistry, the highest number of IgT-producing cells was observed in the gills (9.5 ± 0.7%), followed by intestine (8.4 ± 1.2%), head kidney (6.2 ± 1.4%), and spleen (4.1 ± 0.7%). Interestingly, the number of IgT-B cells showed a regionalization in the intestine, increasing from the proximal to the terminal part. By immunofluorescence and flow cytometry of live leukocytes, the percentages of RAIgT1 stained cells were 34 ± 11% in the intestine, 22 ± 5% in head kidney, 16 ± 7% in spleen, and 9 ± 5% in gills. At the fluorescence microscope, live cells from these tissues showed a typical membrane-associated positivity and a lymphocytic morphology, and no IgT/IgM double positive cells were detected. Immunoreactive cells have been purified from head kidney using magnetic beads, and IgT-enriched cells showed by RT-PCR an enhanced expression of the IgT gene, whereas IgT-depleted cells had an highest expression of IgM and TRβ genes. These data describe for the first time a quantitative panel of IgT-expressing and IgT-immunoreactive cells in tissues of a teleost fish species.

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