Involvement of dopamine beta-hydroxylase in the neuroendocrine-immune regulatory network of white shrimp,Litopenaeus vannamei

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Abstract

In shrimp, the biosynthesis of catecholamines, including dopamine and norepinephrine, is required for physiological and immunological responses against stress. Dopamine beta-hydroxylase (DBH), a copper-containing monooxygenase enzyme that plays an important role in catecholamine synthesis of the neuroendocrine regulatory network, was identified in Litopenaeus vannamei. In the present study, the potential role of DBH in the immunocompetence of L. vannamei was further estimated by depleting DBH by pharmaceutical inhibition of disulfiram and a gene silencing technique of L. vannamei DBH-double-stranded (ds)RNA (LvDBH-dsRNA). Immunocompetence was evaluated following the determination of the total hemocyte count, differential hemocyte count, phenoloxidase activity, respiratory bursts, superoxide dismutase activity, phagocytic activity, and the clearance efficiency as well as the susceptibility against Vibrio alginolyticus infection. At 30–120 min after shrimp had received disulfiram, they exhibited significantly reduced total hemocyte count, phenoloxidase activity of hemocytes in hemolymph, respiratory bursts of hemocytes in hemolymph and per hemocyte, phagocytic activity, clearance efficiency, and survival ratio against V. alginolyticus infection, compared to those injected with saline. In addition, the significantly lower total hemocyte count, phagocytic activity, clearance efficiency, and resistance to V. alginolyticus infection were observed in shrimp that received LvDBH-dsRNA at 3 days post injection compared to those injected with diethyl pyrocarbonate-water or non-targeting gene-dsRNA. The DBH depleted L. vannamei revealed immunosuppression and decreased the survival ratio to V. alginolyticus infection, which indicated that DBH played a crucial role in the neuroendocrine-immune regulatory network.

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