Polymeric immunoglobulin receptor in dojo loach (Misgurnus anguillicaudatus): Molecular characterization and expression analysis in response to bacterial and parasitic challenge
The polymeric immunoglobulin receptor (pIgR) is an essential component of the mucosal immune system in jawed vertebrates including teleost fish, which mediate transepithelial transport of secretory immunoglobulins (sIgs) to protect organisms against environmental pathogens. In this study, we firstly cloned and identified the pIgR from dojo loach (Misgurnus anguillicaudatus). The full-length cDNA of Ma-pIgR was of 1145 bp, containing an open reading frame (ORF) of 1101 bp encoded a predicted protein of 336 amino acids. The structure of Ma-pIgR is comprised of a signal peptide, a transmembrane region, an intracellular region and an extracellular region with two Ig-like domains (ILDs), which are similar to their counterparts described in other teleosts. Multiple sequence alignment and phylogenetic analysis showed the dojo loach is closely related to the fish family Cyprinidae. The transcriptional level of Ma-pIgR was detected by quantitative real-time PCR (qRT-PCR) in different tissues and high expression was found in liver, skin, kidney, eye, fin and gills. Two infection models of the loach with bacteria (Aeromonas hydrophila) and parasite (Ichthyophthirius multifiliis) were constructed for the first time. Histological studies showed the goblet cells in skin significantly increased and the ratio of gill length to width also significantly changed after challenged with A.hydrophila. Both challenge experiments resulted in the significant up-regulated expression of Ma-pIgR not only in kidney and spleen, but also in skin and gills. Our results suggest that pIgR may play an important role in skin and gill mucosal immunity to protect the loach against bacteria and parasite.