Molecular characterization of a CC motif chemokine 19-like gene in ayu (Plecoglossus altivelis) and its role in leukocyte trafficking

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The CC motif chemokine 19 (CCL19) functions in acute inflammation by recruiting lymphocytes and other cells. However, CCL19 has only been investigated in few fish species. In this study, we characterized a CCL19-like molecule (PaCCL19l) in ayu (Plecoglossus altivelis), a teleost fish. Sequence analysis revealed that PaCCL19l was most closely related to Atlantic salmon (Salmon salar) CCL19l1, which belonged to the fish CCL19a.1 subcluster. PaCCL19l was constitutively expressed in the tested ayu tissues and peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs), with the highest transcript level in PBMCs. Upon infection with Vibrio anguillarum, the expressions of PaCCL19l in the head kidney, liver, spleen, PBMCs, and monocytes/macrophages (MO/MΦ) were dramatically up-regulated. Recombinant PaCCL19l (rPaCCL19l) exhibited a significant effect on the chemotaxis of lymphocytes and MO/MΦ in vitro and in vivo. Meanwhile, rPaCCL19l exerted a high chemotaxic activity for lipopolysaccharide (LPS)-stimulated MO/MΦ (M1-type), but not for cyclic adenosine monophosphate (cAMP)-stimulated MO/MΦ (M2-type). When ayu MO/MΦ was treated with rPaCCL19l along with Vibrio anguillarum infection, the mRNA expression of proinflammatory cytokines (IL-1β, TNFα, IL-6, IL-12b, and IFN-γ) was up-regulated, while that of anti-inflammatory cytokines (IL-10, TGFβ, and IL-22) was down-regulated. Ayu MO/MΦ treated with anti-PaCCL19l IgG gave the opposite result. These results implicated that PaCCL19l is involved in the selective chemotaxis of ayu immune cells and promotes the host at a pro-inflammatory state.

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