Skin morphology and humoral non-specific defence ...



Title Skin morphology and humoral non-specific defence parameters of mucus and plasma in rainbow trout, coho and Atlantic salmon
Author(s) M. D. Fast, David E. Sims, John F. Burka, A. Mustafa, N. W. Ross
Journal Comparative Biochemistry and Physiology - Part A: Molecular & Integrative Physiology
Date 2002
Volume 132
Issue 3
Start page 645
End page 657
Abstract Susceptibility to different diseases among related species, such as coho salmon (Oncorhynchus kisutch), rainbow trout (Oncorhyncus mykiss) and Atlantic salmon (Salmo salar), is variable. The prominence of these species in aquaculture warrants investigation into sources of this variability to assist future disease management. To develop a better understanding of the basis for species variability, several important non-specific humoral parameters were examined in juvenile fish of these three economically important species. Mucous protease, alkaline phosphatase and lysozyme, as well as plasma lysozyme activities and histological parameters (epidermal thickness and mucous cell density, and size) were characterized and compared for three salmonids: rainbow trout, Atlantic salmon and coho salmon. Rainbow trout had a thicker epidermis and significantly more mucous cells per cross-sectional area than the other two species. Rainbow trout also had significantly higher mucous protease activity than Atlantic salmon and significantly higher lysozyme (plasma and mucus) activities than coho and Atlantic salmon, in seawater. Atlantic salmon, on the other hand, had the lowest activities of mucous lysozyme and proteases, the thinnest epidermal layer and the sparsest distribution of mucous cells, compared with the two other salmonids in seawater. Only coho salmon had sacciform cells. Atlantic and coho salmon had higher mucous lysozyme activities in freshwater as compared to seawater. There was no significant difference between mucous lysozyme activities in any of the three species reared in freshwater; however, rainbow trout still had a significantly higher plasma lysozyme activity compared with the other two species. All three species exhibited significantly lower mucous alkaline phosphatase and protease activities in freshwater than in seawater. Our results demonstrate that there are significant histological and biochemical differences between the skin and mucus of these three salmonid species, which may change as a result of differing environments. Variation in these innate immune factors is likely to have differing influences on each species response to disease processes.
DOI 10.1016/S1095-6433(02)00109-5
PubMed ID 12044774

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