Cell-mediated cytotoxicity in rainbow trout, Oncorhynchus mykiss, infected with viral haemorrhagic septicaemia virus

K. Utke, S. Bergmann, Niels Lorenzen, B. Kollner, M. Ototake, U. Fischer

    Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review


    Mammalian cytotoxic T cells as part of the adaptive immune system recognize virus-infected target cells by binding of their T-cell receptors (TCR) to classical MHC class I molecules loaded with viral peptides. Our previous studies have shown that the allele of the single dominant polymorphic classical MHC class I locus Onmy-UBA is identical in the rainbow trout clone C25 and in the permanent rainbow trout cell line RTG-2. This enabled us to develop an assay to measure antiviral cytotoxicity in rainbow trout using a system of MHC class I-matched effector and target cells. Peripheral blood leucocytes (PBL) isolated from low dose viral haemorrhagic septicaemia virus (VHSV)-infected rainbow trout killed MHC class I-matched and later also xenogeneic MHC class I-mismatched VHSV-infected cells. When compared to PBL from uninfected control fish PBL from infected fish showed a higher transcriptional level of the CD8 alpha gene which is a typical marker for mammalian cytotoxic T cells. Concurrently, the expression of the natural killer cell enhancement factor (NKEF)-like gene was enhanced as measured by real-time RT-PCR. Taken together, these results suggest that both innate and adaptive cell-mediated immune responses represented by NK and cytotoxic T cells, respectively, are triggered after VHSV infection. PBL that were able to kill VHSV-infected MHC class I-mismatched xenogeneic cells were generated later during infection than PBL capable of lysing VHSV-infected MHC class I-matched targets. This is contradictory to the generally accepted rule that innate immune mechanisms represent the first line of defence after viral infections.
    Original languageEnglish
    JournalFish and Shellfish Immunology
    Issue number3
    Pages (from-to)182-196
    Publication statusPublished - 2007


    • virus infection
    • teleost
    • cell-mediated cytotoxicity
    • rainbow trout


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