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Fish Shellfish Immunol. 2007 Jul;23(1):197-209. Epub 2006 Nov 3.

Apolipoprotein A-I, an antimicrobial protein in Oncorhynchus mykiss: evaluation of its expression in primary defence barriers and plasma levels in sick and healthy fish.

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Instituto de Bioquímica, Facultad de Ciencias, Campus Isla Teja, Universidad Austral de Chile, Valdivia, Chile.


Antimicrobial proteins and peptides play an important role in the primary defence barriers in vertebrates and invertebrates. In a previous study it was shown that high-density lipoprotein (HDL) and its major apolipoproteins, ApoA-I and ApoA-II display antimicrobial activity in the carp (Cyprinus carpio L.). The aim of this study was to evaluate if ApoA-I conserves this defensive function in a salmonid fish like the rainbow trout, in spite of the low level of primary sequence conservation between fish ApoA-I. Here it is shown that trout ApoA-I displays an antimicrobial activity in the micromolar range against Gram positive and Gram negative bacteria, including some fish pathogens. In addition, its expression was also demonstrated by immunohistochemistry and RT-PCR in epidermis, gills and intestinal mucosa, which constitute the main primary defence barriers in fish. Finally, no significant difference in the hepatic expression and plasma levels of this abundant apolipoprotein was found in groups of healthy and diseased fish, in clear contrast with mammals where ApoA-I have been considered a negative acute phase reactant. These findings suggest that ApoA-I could constitute an important innate immunity effector in trout and perhaps other teleost fish.

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