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Apoptosis inhibition of Atlantic salmon (Salmo salar) peritoneal macrophages by Piscirickettsia salmonis

Díaz, S, Rojas, M E, Galleguillos, M, Maturana, C, Smith, P I, Cifuentes, F, Contreras, I, Smith, P A
Journal of fish diseases 2017 v.40 no.12 pp. 1895-1902
Piscirickettsia salmonis, Salmo salar, apoptosis, bacteria, fish, flow cytometry, juveniles, lymphocytes, macrophages, pathogenesis
To improve the understanding of the piscirickettsiosis pathogenesis, the in vivo apoptosis modulation of peritoneal macrophages and lymphocytes was studied in juvenile Salmo salar intraperitoneally injected with Piscirickettsia salmonis. Five fish were sampled at post‐exposure days 1, 5, 8 (preclinical), 20 (clinical) and 40 (post‐clinical period of the disease), and the leucocytes of their coelomic washings were analysed by flow cytometry (using the JC‐1 cationic dye), TUNEL and cytology to detect apoptotic cells. A selective and temporal pattern of apoptosis modulation by P. salmonis infection was observed. Apoptosis in lymphocytes was not affected, whereas it was inhibited in macrophages but only during the preclinical stage of the induced piscirickettsiosis. Hence, it is postulated that P. salmonis inhibits macrophage apoptosis at the beginning of the disease development to survive, multiply and probably be transported inside these phagocytes; once this process is complete, macrophage apoptosis is no longer inhibited, thus facilitating the exit of the bacteria from the infected cells for continuing their life cycle.