The Teleost Thymus in Health and Disease: New Insights from Transcriptomic and Histopathological Analyses of Turbot, Scophthalmus maximus

Paolo Ronza, Diego Robledo, Ana Paula Losada, José Roberto Bermúdez-Barrientos , Belén G. Pardo, Paulino Martínez, María Isabel Quiroga

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Abstract: The thymus is a primary lymphoid organ that plays a pivotal role in the adaptive immune
system. The immunobiology of the thymus in fish is considered to be similar to that of mammals, but it
is actually poorly characterized in several cultured teleost species. In particular, while investigations
in human and veterinary medicine have highlighted that the thymus can be aected by dierent
pathological conditions, little is known about its response during disease in fish. To better understand
the role of the thymus under physiological and pathological conditions, we conducted a study in
turbot (Scophthalmus maximus), a commercially valuable flatfish species, combining transcriptomic
and histopathological analyses. The myxozoan parasite Enteromyxum scophthalmi, which represents a major challenge to turbot production, was used as a model of infection. The thymus tissues of healthy fish showed overrepresented functions related to its immunological role in T-cell development and maturation. Large dierences were observed between the transcriptomes of control and severely
infected fish. Evidence of inflammatory response, apoptosis modulation, and declined thymic function associated with loss of cellularity was revealed by both genomic and morphopathological
analyses. This study presents the first description of the turbot thymus transcriptome and provides
novel insights into the role of this organ in teleosts’ immune responses.
Original languageEnglish
JournalBiology
Volume9
Early online date13 Aug 2020
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 13 Aug 2020

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