Acute phase response in zebrafish upon Aeromonas salmonicida and Staphylococcus aureus infection: striking similarities and obvious differences with mammals

Mol Immunol. 2007 Jan;44(4):295-301. doi: 10.1016/j.molimm.2006.03.001. Epub 2006 Apr 19.


Zebrafish has emerged as a valuable model for immunological studies. However, little is known about the overall picture of its immune response to infectious pathogens. Here we present the first systematic study of its immune response to Aeromonas salmonicida and Staphylococcus aureus, a Gram-negative and a Gram-positive bacteria, respectively. Genes induced upon infection were identified with suppression subtractive hybridization, with many of them encoding acute phase proteins (APPs). When compared with mammals, striking similarities and obvious differences have been observed. Both similar APPs (SAA, hepcidin and haptoglobin, etc.) and a similar system for the induction of APPs (which involves the TLRs, pro-inflammatory cytokines and C/EBPs) were identified, implying evolutionary conserved mechanisms among fish and mammals. Some novel APPs were also discovered, suggesting different immune strategies adopted by fish species. Among which, LECT2 was induced by up to 1000-fold upon infection, shedding new lights on the function of this gene. Our results constitute the first demonstration of a similar while different immune response in zebrafish and open new avenues for the investigation of evolutionary conserved and fish specific mechanisms of innate immunity.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Acute-Phase Reaction / genetics*
  • Acute-Phase Reaction / immunology
  • Aeromonas salmonicida*
  • Amino Acid Sequence
  • Animals
  • Evolution, Molecular
  • Gene Expression Regulation / immunology
  • Gram-Negative Bacterial Infections / genetics
  • Gram-Negative Bacterial Infections / immunology*
  • Immunity, Innate / genetics
  • Intercellular Signaling Peptides and Proteins / immunology
  • Mammals
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Sequence Alignment
  • Species Specificity
  • Staphylococcal Infections / genetics
  • Staphylococcal Infections / immunology*
  • Toll-Like Receptors / immunology
  • Zebrafish / genetics
  • Zebrafish / immunology*
  • Zebrafish / microbiology


  • Intercellular Signaling Peptides and Proteins
  • Toll-Like Receptors