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The proliferation and clonal migration of B cells in the systemic and mucosal tissues of channel catfish suggests there is an interconnected mucosal immune system

Miles D. Lange, Geoffrey C. Waldbieser, Craig J. Lobb
Fish & shellfish immunology 2019 v.84 pp. 1134-1144
B-lymphocytes, Ictalurus punctatus, cell movement, cell proliferation, immunoglobulin M, mucosal immunity
IgM transcripts from different mucosal and systemic tissues from a single adult channel catfish have been evaluated. Arrayed heavy chain cDNA libraries from each of these different mucosal and systemic tissues were separately constructed, hybridized with VH family specific probes and a variety of approaches were used to define their structural relationships. Baseline hybridization studies indicated that the tissue libraries had different VH expression patterns, and sequencing studies indicated this was not simply due to varying proportions of the same B cell population. In the systemic tissues of PBL, spleen, and anterior kidney >95% of the sequenced clones in the arrayed libraries represented different heavy chain rearrangements. Diversity was also found in the mucosal libraries of skin, gill lamellae, and two non-adjoining regions of the intestine, but additional populations were identified which indicated localized clonal expansion. Various clonal sets were characterized in detail, and their genealogies indicated somatic mutation accompanied localized clonal expansion with some members undergoing additional mutations and expansion after migration to different mucosal sites. PCR analyses indicated these mucosal clonal sets were more abundant within different mucosal tissues rather than in the systemic tissues. These studies indicate that the mucosal immune system in fish can express B cell transcripts differently from those found systemically. These studies further indicate that the mucosal immune system is interconnected with clonal B cells migrating between different mucosal tissues, results which yield new insight into immune diversity in early vertebrate phylogeny.