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Fish Shellfish Immunol. 2009 Apr;26(4):632-8. doi: 10.1016/j.fsi.2008.10.007. Epub 2008 Oct 19.

The induction of nitric oxide response of carp macrophages by transferrin is influenced by the allelic diversity of the molecule.

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Polish Academy of Sciences, Institute of Ichthyobiology and Aquaculture, Gołysz, 43-520 Chybie, Poland.


The central role of transferrin (Tf) as an iron transporting protein has been extended by observations that modified versions of Tf also participate in the regulation of innate immunity. We report on the isolation of two carp Tf proteins (alleles D and G) to purity using rivanol precipitation and ion-exchange chromatography, and describe the activation of head kidney-derived carp macrophages by cleaved Tf. We demonstrate the superiority of the D-type over the G-type Tf in inducing nitric oxide (NO) and confirm previous observations that full-length Tf cannot induce NO in fish macrophages. We believe that cleaved Tf fragments should be considered to be "alarmins". We discuss the possibility that parasites such as Trypanoplasma borreli cleave Tf and use Tf fragments to their advantage by modulating the NO induction in carp macrophages.

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