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Sockeye salmon demonstrate robust yet distinct transcriptomic kidney responses to rhabdovirus (IHNV) exposure and infection

Polinski, Mark P., Bradshaw, Julia C., Rise, Matthew L., Johnson, Stewart C., Garver, Kyle A.
Fish & shellfish immunology 2019 v.94 pp. 525-538
DNA, Infectious hematopoietic necrosis virus, Oncorhynchus nerka, apoptosis, cell communication, farmed fish, fish diseases, gene expression regulation, immunology, inflammation, kidneys, messenger RNA, necrosis, pathogens, protein synthesis, quantitative polymerase chain reaction, salmon, sequence analysis, smolts, transcription (genetics), transcriptome, transcriptomics
Aquatic rhabdoviruses are globally significant pathogens associated with disease in both wild and cultured fish. Infectious hematopoietic necrosis virus (IHNV) is a rhabdovirus that causes the internationally regulated disease infectious hematopoietic necrosis (IHN) in most species of salmon. Yet not all naïve salmon exposed to IHNV become diseased, and the mechanisms by which some individuals evade or rapidly clear infection following exposure are poorly understood. Here we used RNA-sequencing to evaluate transcriptomic changes in sockeye salmon, a keystone species in the North Pacific and natural host for IHNV, to evaluate the consequences of IHNV exposure and/or infection on host cell transcriptional pathways. Immersion challenge of sockeye salmon smolts with IHNV resulted in approximately 33% infection prevalence, where both prevalence and viral kidney load peaked at 7 days post challenge (dpc). De novo assembly of kidney transcriptomes at 7 dpc revealed that both infected and exposed but noninfected individuals experienced substantial transcriptomic modification; however, stark variation in gene expression patterns were observed between exposed but noninfected, infected, and unexposed populations. GO and KEGG pathway enrichment in concert with differential expression analysis identified that kidney responses in exposed but noninfected fish emphasised a global pattern of transcriptional down-regulation, particularly for pathways involved in DNA transcription, protein biosynthesis and macromolecule metabolism. In contrast, transcriptomes of infected fish demonstrated a global emphasis of transcriptional up-regulation highlighting pathways involved in antiviral response, inflammation, apoptosis, and RNA processing. Quantitative PCR was subsequently used to highlight differential and time-specific regulation of acute phase, antiviral, inflammatory, cell boundary, and metabolic responsive transcripts in both infected and exposed but noninfected groups. This data demonstrates that waterborne exposure with IHNV has a dramatic effect on the sockeye salmon kidney transcriptome that is discrete between resistant and acutely susceptible individuals. We identify that metabolic, acute phase and cell boundary pathways are transcriptionally affected by IHNV and kidney responses to local infection are highly divergent from those generated as part of a disseminated response. These data suggest that primary resistance of naïve fish to IHNV may involve global responses that encourage reduced cellular signaling rather than promoting classical innate antiviral responses.