Heat-killed whole-cell products of the probiotic Pseudomonas aeruginosa VSG2 strain affect in vitro cytokine expression in head kidney macrophages of Labeo rohita

Fish Shellfish Immunol. 2016 Mar;50:310-6. doi: 10.1016/j.fsi.2016.02.007. Epub 2016 Feb 10.


Present study was undertaken to investigate the efficiency of heat-killed whole-cell products (HKWCPs) of probiotic Pseudomonas aeruginosa VSG2 strain in stimulating the cytokine responses in the head kidney (HK) macrophages of Labeo rohita. The HK macrophages were incubated with HKWCPs or lipopolysaccharide (LPS), and the responses of cytokine genes, namely interleukin-10 (IL-10), IL-1β, IL-p35, IL-12p40, tumour necrosis factor-α (TNF-α), nuclear factor kappa B (NF-κB), cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2), interferon-alpha (IFN-α), and interferon-gamma (IFN-γ) were assessed by quantitative real-time PCR (qRT-PCR) at 2, 8, 16, 24, 48, 72 h post-stimulation (hps). Among proinflammatory cytokines, significantly higher expression of IL-1β and TNF-α was observed at 8-24 hps, and 2-16 hps with HKWCPs, respectively, as compared to controls. However, COX-2 and NF-κB displayed strong expression (P < 0.05) at 2-8 hps, and 8, 16 and 72 hps with HKWCPs, respectively. Antiviral cytokines IFN-α and IFN-γ displayed strong expression (P < 0.05) at 8-24 hps, and 2, 24 and 48 hps with HKWCPs, respectively. Expressions of cell-mediated immune factor genes (IL-12p35 and IL-12p40) were also significantly upregulated at various time points, except IL-12p40 at 72 hps, in HK macrophages stimulated with HKWCPs. Expression of the anti-inflammatory cytokine IL-10 was upregulated (P < 0.05) at 2-24 hps HKWCPs, compared to controls. Enhanced cellular (phagocytic activity and superoxide anion production) and humoral (lysozyme) immune parameters of treated HK macrophages confirmed the induction of inflammatory response. Thus, our results indicated that HKWCPs of probiotic P. aeruginosa VSG2 had greater potential for stimulating the in vitro expression of cytokines in fish and that these HKWCPs may be used as vaccine adjuvants in aquaculture.

Keywords: Cytokine response; HKWCPs; LPS; Labeo rohita; Macrophage; Pseudomonas aeruginosa VSG2.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animal Feed / analysis
  • Animals
  • Cyprinidae / genetics*
  • Cyprinidae / immunology*
  • Cyprinidae / metabolism
  • Cytokines / genetics*
  • Cytokines / metabolism
  • Head Kidney / immunology
  • Macrophages / immunology
  • Probiotics / administration & dosage
  • Probiotics / pharmacology*
  • Pseudomonas aeruginosa / chemistry*
  • Real-Time Polymerase Chain Reaction / veterinary


  • Cytokines