Zebrafish kidney phagocytes utilize macropinocytosis and Ca+-dependent endocytic mechanisms.
Pinchuk, Lesya M.
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BACKGROUND: The innate immune response constitutes the first line of defense against invading pathogens and consists of a variety of immune defense mechanisms including active endocytosis by macrophages and granulocytes. Endocytosis can be used as a reliable measure of selective and non-selective mechanisms of antigen uptake in the early phase of an immune response. Numerous assays have been developed to measure this response in a variety of mammalian and fish species. The small size of the zebrafish has prevented the large-scale collection of monocytes/macrophages and granulocytes for these endocytic assays. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: Pooled zebrafish kidney hematopoietic tissues were used as a source of phagocytic cells for flow-cytometry based endocytic assays. FITC-Dextran, Lucifer Yellow and FITC-Edwardsiella ictaluri were used to evaluate selective and non-selective mechanisms of uptake in zebrafish phagocytes. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: Zebrafish kidney phagocytes characterized as monocytes/macrophages, neutrophils and lymphocytes utilize macropinocytosis and Ca(2+)-dependant endocytosis mechanisms of antigen uptake. These cells do not appear to utilize a mannose receptor. Heat-killed Edwardsiella ictaluri induces cytoskeletal interactions for internalization in zebrafish kidney monocytes/macrophages and granulocytes. The proposed method is easy to implement and should prove especially useful in immunological, toxicological and epidemiological research.