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ARS Home » Southeast Area » Stoneville, Mississippi » Warmwater Aquaculture Research Unit » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #366713

Research Project: Genetics, Breeding and Reproductive Physiology to Enhance Production of Catfish

Location: Warmwater Aquaculture Research Unit

Title: Cloning and characterization of antiviral cytotoxic T lymphocytes in channel catfish, Ictalurus punctatus

item TAYLOR, ERIN - University Of Mississippi Medical Center
item CHINCHAR, GREGORY - University Of Mississippi Medical Center
item Quiniou, Sylvie
item WILSON, MELANIE - University Of Mississippi Medical Center
item BENGTEN, EVA - University Of Mississippi Medical Center

Submitted to: Virology
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 11/25/2019
Publication Date: 1/15/2020
Publication URL:
Citation: Taylor, E.B., Chinchar, G.V., Quiniou, S., Wilson, M., Bengten, E. 2020. Cloning and characterization of antiviral cytotoxic T lymphocytes in channel catfish, Ictalurus punctatus. Virology. 540:184-194.

Interpretive Summary: Channel catfish are an economically important food fish in the United States and are a source of protein for human consumption. While aquaculture has provided an efficient way to raise fish, it also provides a breeding ground for pathogens that adversely impact fish health and farm yields. To understand the immune response of fish to infectious disease, we studied one aspect of this response: cytotoxic T cells. Cytotoxic T cells kill cells infected with viruses and intracellular bacteria and play a critical role in resolving ongoing infections. We found that channel catfish generate cytotoxic T cells in response to infection with channel catfish virus, a virus able to kill nearly 100% of fingerling catfish. Furthermore, for the first time in any fish system, we generated clones of anti-viral cytotoxic T cells. These cells provide unique tools with which to study catfish cytotoxic T cells and help understand how to develop protective vaccines against catfish pathogens.

Technical Abstract: To determine the role of piscine anti-viral cytotoxic cells, we analyzed the response of channel catfish to Ictalurid herpesvirus 1, commonly designated channel catfish virus (CCV). Peripheral blood leukocytes (PBL) from catfish immunized with MHC-matched, CCV-infected G14D cells (G14D-CCV) showed marked lysis of G14D-CCV but little to no lysis of uninfected allogenic (3B11) or syngeneic (G14D) cells. Expansion of effectors by in vitro culture in the presence of irradiated G14D-CCV cells generated cultures with enhanced lytic ability and often a broader target range. Cytotoxic effectors expressed rearranged TCR genes, perforin, granzyme, and IFN-'. Four clonal cytotoxic lines were developed and unique TCR gene rearrangements were detected. Furthermore, catfish CTL clones were either CD4+/CD8- or CD4-/CD8-. Two CTL lines showed markedly enhanced killing of G14D-CCV targets, where two others displayed a broader target range. Collectively, catfish virus-specific CTL display unique features that illustrate the diversity of the ectothermic vertebrate immune response.