VACCINATION of Atlantic salmon leads to long-lasting higher levels of serum immunoglobulin and possible skewed ratios of two distinct IgM isotypes


Primary and secondary antibody responses in blood of teleost fish are mainly IgM mediated, as they lack an IgG homolog and a class switch mechanism. Thus, the major serum immunoglobulin is tetrameric IgM. A unique antibody class in teleosts; named IgT, appears to be specialized for mucosal immunity and is present in low concentrations in serum. A third class; IgD was recently detected in serum of rainbow trout, but is less abundant than IgT. In the present study, relative quantification of total IgM showed that Atlantic salmon (Salmosalar) which had received an oil-adjuvanted commercial vaccine maintained about 2-fold higher levels of IgM; 14 and 17 months after intraperitoneal injection, in comparison to unvaccinated fish kept in the same cage. Similar results were obtained by ELISA (serum IgM) and reverse transcription real time PCR (spleen mRNA). Analyses conducted in our lab have shown that several salmonid species possess two slightly different IgM isotypes as a result of ancestral tetraploidy. In Atlantic salmon, two distinct IgM subpopulations (A and B) can be separated by anion exchange chromatography. The IgM-B tetramer exhibits a higher degree of disulfide cross-linking than IgM-A, presumably due to an extra cysteine near the C-terminus of the heavy chain. The typical A/B ratio is approximately 40/60. Anion exchange elution profiles of serum IgM from vaccinated fish indicate that prolonged triggering of the immune system can lead to a skewed ratio of IgM-A/IgM-B. In the context of recent results from rainbow trout (Onchorhynchusmykiss), showing that high affinity antibodies are more highly polymerized and have a longer half life time, Atlantic salmon is an interesting model to elucidate these aspects further since tools are available to distinguish IgM-A and IgM- B in this species.

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Kamil, A. , Fjelldal, P. , Hansen, T. , Raae, A. , Koppang, E. and Hordvik, I. (2013) VACCINATION of Atlantic salmon leads to long-lasting higher levels of serum immunoglobulin and possible skewed ratios of two distinct IgM isotypes. Advances in Bioscience and Biotechnology, 4, 85-90. doi: 10.4236/abb.2013.44A012.

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The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


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