The ontogeny of MHC class I expression in rainbow trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss)

Uwe Fischer, Johannes Martinus Dijkstra, Bernd Köllner, Ikunari Kiryu, Erling Olav Koppang, Ivar Hordvik, Yoshihiro Sawamoto, Mitsuru Ototake

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

60 Citations (Scopus)


In the present study, clonal rainbow trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss) embryos and larvae were assayed for the expression of key molecules involved in specific cell-mediated cytotoxicity using an anti-MHC class I monoclonal Ab and by RT-PCR using specific primers derived from classical MHC class I (class Ia), TCR and CD8. Whereas RT-PCR revealed that MHC class Ia and CD8 were expressed from at least 1 week after fertilisation (p.f.) on, TCR expression was detectable from 2 weeks p.f. Immunohistochemistry indicated an early and distinct expression of MHC class I protein in the thymus. Positive lymphoid, epithelial and endothelial cells were found in the pronephros, in the spleen and in the inner and outer epithelia at later stages. Whereas in older rainbow trout the intestine is counted among the organs of the highest class I expression, during ontogeny it was the last site (39 days after hatching) where such expression was detectable. Knowledge on the appearance of the assayed key molecules during fish development is relevant for the pathogenesis of infections as well as for early vaccine delivery. Besides such information regarding the development of the adaptive immune system, immunohistochemistry revealed that in early larvae MHC class I was expressed in neurons whereas in older rainbow trout this was not observed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)49-60
Number of pages12
JournalFish and Shellfish Immunology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 01-2005

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Environmental Chemistry
  • Aquatic Science


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