2017 Volume 79 Issue 6 Pages 1072-1080
Plecoglossus altivelis (ayu) is one of the most important fish species in the Japanese islands and in internal fish hatcheries. Living in open aquatic environments exposes fish to many pathogens. Therefore, they require rapid and strong immune defenses. We investigated in vivo the direct association between the ayu innate immune response, represented by the relative transcription of genes encoding the cathelicidin and hepcidin antimicrobial peptides, and lipopolysaccharide (LPS), a conventional pathogen-associated molecular patterns (PAMPs) of Gram-negative bacteria. Different concentrations of LPS (1, 10 and 100 µg/fish) were injected intraperitoneally into young (sexually immature) and adult (fully sexually mature) ayu. The relative expression of the antimicrobial peptide genes was measured 6 hr, 24 hr and 1 week after stimulation with LPS. We found a direct association between the expression of the antimicrobial peptide genes investigated and LPS stimulation. This relationship was time-, dose- and age-dependent. Further research is required to determine the cell-specific transcriptional regulation and posttranscriptional regulation of these antimicrobial peptides.