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Dev Comp Immunol. 2015 Mar;49(1):31-7. doi: 10.1016/j.dci.2014.11.003. Epub 2014 Nov 7.

Reduction of rainbow trout spleen size by splenectomy does not alter resistance against bacterial cold water disease.

Author information

1
USDA-ARS National Center for Cool and Cold Water Aquaculture, 11861 Leetown Rd, Kearneysville, WV 25430, USA. Electronic address: greg.wiens@ars.usda.gov.
2
USDA-ARS National Center for Cool and Cold Water Aquaculture, 11861 Leetown Rd, Kearneysville, WV 25430, USA.
3
Department of Biology, The College of William and Mary, Williamsburg, VA 23185, USA.
4
Department of Environmental and Aquatic Animal Health, Virginia Institute of Marine Science, The College of William and Mary, Williamsburg, VA 23185, USA.

Abstract

In lower vertebrates, the contribution of the spleen to anti-bacterial immunity is poorly understood. We have previously reported a phenotypic and genetic correlation between resistance to Flavobacterium psychrophilum, the causative agent of bacterial cold water disease (BCWD) and spleen somatic index (spleen weight normalized to body weight, SI). Fish families with larger pre-challenge SI values were found to have greater BCWD survival (resistance) following intraperitoneal injection of a lethal dose of F. psychrophilum. Since the mammalian spleen is known to be crucial for capture and destruction of encapsulated bacteria, we tested the hypothesis that reduction of spleen size, by surgical splenectomy, should reduce the survival advantage of the larger-spleen, disease-resistant fish. Experiments were performed using two separate lines of fish that had previously been selected either based on BCWD survival (resistant and susceptible), or selected based on spleen size (high and low SI). Following 65 to 81 days post-surgical recovery, fish were challenged with F. psychrophilum and mortality monitored for a minimum of 21 days. No significant difference in the relative survival was detected between splenectomized or sham-operated groups, while SI of splenectomized fish was reduced to an average of 8-12% of control animals. A positive correlation was observed between the SI, measured at the time of splenectomy, and time-to-death post-challenge. In summary, these experiments argue that larger spleen size alone is not sufficient for greater BCWD resistance, but rather it is an indirect indicator of immunological status.

KEYWORDS:

Bacterial cold water disease; Flavobacterium psychrophilum; Innate immunity; Rainbow trout; Splenectomy

PMID:
25445908
DOI:
10.1016/j.dci.2014.11.003
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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