PloS one

Cytokine Gene Expression in CD4 Positive Cells of the Japanese Pufferfish, Takifugu rubripes.

PMID 23823320


CD4(+) T (Th) cells are a central component of the adaptive immune response and are divided into distinct sets based on their specific cytokine production pattern. Several reports have suggested that fish possess Th subset activity similar to that of mammals. The aim of the present study was to isolate CD4(+) T cells from the blood of Japanese pufferfish, Fugu rubripes, and to characterize their cytokine expression profile. We produced a specific antibody against Fugu CD4 and performed cell sorting with the magnetic activated cell sorting system. Sorted Fugu CD4(+) cells were characterized by morphology and expression analysis of cell marker genes. Fugu CD4(+) cells expressed T-cell marker genes but not macrophage or B-cell marker genes. In addition, peripheral blood lymphocytes were stimulated with lipopolysaccharide (LPS), polycytidylic acid (polyI:C), concanavalin A (ConA) prior to sorting, and then Multiplex RT-PCR was used to examine the expression of Th cytokines by the stimulated Fugu CD4(+) cells. LPS and polyI:C stimulation upregulated the expression of Th1, Th17 and Treg cytokines and downregulated the expression of Th2 cytokines. ConA stimulation upregulated the expression of all Th cytokines. These results suggest that fish exhibit the same upregulation of Th-specific cytokine expression as in mammals.