Browsing by Subject "IMMUNE DEFENSE"

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  • Kortet, Raine; Lautala, Tiina; Kekalainen, Jukka; Taskinen, Jouni; Hirvonen, Heikki (2017)
    Hatchery-reared fish show high mortalities after release to the wild environment. Explanations for this include potentially predetermined genetics, behavioral, and physiological acclimation to fish farm environments, and increased vulnerability to predation and parasitism in the wild. We studied vulnerability to Diplostomum spp. parasites (load of eye flukes in the lenses), immune defense (relative spleen size) and antipredator behaviors (approaches toward predator odor, freezing, and swimming activity) in hatchery-reared juvenile Arctic charr (Salvelinus alpinus) using a nested mating design. Fish were exposed to eye-fluke larvae via the incoming water at the hatchery. Fish size was positively associated with parasite load, but we did not find any relationship between relative spleen size and parasitism. The offspring of different females showed significant variation in their parasite load within sires, implying a dam effect in the vulnerability to parasites. However, the family background did not have any effect on spleen size. In the mean sire level over dams, the fish from the bolder (actively swimming) families in the predator trials suffered higher loads of eye flukes than those from more cautiously behaving families. Thus, the results indicate potentially maternally inherited differences in vulnerability to eye-fluke parasites, and that the vulnerability to parasites and behavioral activity are positively associated with each other at the sire level. This could lead to artificial and unintentional selection for increased vulnerability to both parasitism and predation if these traits are favored in fish farm environments.
  • Reichhardt, M. P.; Holmskov, U.; Meri, S. (2017)
    It is becoming increasingly clear that the connections between our immune system and the microbiota colonizing us have a tremendous impact on human health. A number of innate molecular defence mechanisms cooperate to selectively target unwanted microorganisms at the mucosal surfaces. Amongst others these include the complement system, IgA and the SALSA molecule. The salivary scavenger and agglutinin (SALSA), also known as deleted in malignant brain tumors 1 (DMBT1), salivary agglutinin (SAG) or gp340 is a multifunctional molecule with important functions in innate immunity, inflammation and epithelial homeostasis. The SALSA protein is expressed at most mucosal surfaces, where it is one of the most abundant proteins. In the fetal meconium and infant intestine it may constitute even up to 10% of the total protein amount. SALSA is found either directly associated with the epithelial surface or secreted into the lining fluids. In the fluid-phase SALSA interacts with a number of bacterial and viral organisms, as well as with endogenous ligands, including IgA, lactoferrin, surfactant proteins and complement components. While complement has been shown to impact the mucosal environment, this remains an area of limited research. The multiple interactions of the SALSA molecule provide a scaffold, where this potent defence system may engage in cooperative microbial clearance together with corresponding mucosal host ligands. With its high abundance, and multiple effects on both host and microbes, the SALSA molecule is a key player in maintaining the immunological balance at the mucosal surfaces. This is further supported by observations linking the expression of different SALSA isoforms to the development of chronic inflammatory conditions, such as Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis. This review describes the latest advances in understanding functions of SALSA and its different isoforms. Recently recognized functions are related to complement activation and regulation, endothelial development and epithelial homeostasis. In addition, we suggest mechanisms how SALSA regulates inflammation at the mucosal surfaces.