Fish gut-liver immunity during homeostasis or inflammation revealed by integrative transcriptome and proteome studies

Sci Rep. 2016 Nov 3;6:36048. doi: 10.1038/srep36048.


The gut-associated lymphoid tissue, connected with liver via bile and blood, constructs a local immune environment of both defense and tolerance. The gut-liver immunity has been well-studied in mammals, yet in fish remains largely unknown, even though enteritis as well as liver and gallbladder syndrome emerged as a limitation in aquaculture. In this study, we performed integrative bioinformatic analysis for both transcriptomic (gut and liver) and proteomic (intestinal mucus and bile) data, in both healthy and infected tilapias. We found more categories of immune transcripts in gut than liver, as well as more adaptive immune in gut meanwhile more innate in liver. Interestingly reduced differential immune transcripts between gut and liver upon inflammation were also revealed. In addition, more immune proteins in bile than intestinal mucus were identified. And bile probably providing immune effectors to intestinal mucus upon inflammation was deduced. Specifically, many key immune transcripts in gut or liver as well as key immune proteins in mucus or bile were demonstrated. Accordingly, we proposed a hypothesized profile of fish gut-liver immunity, during either homeostasis or inflammation. Current data suggested that fish gut and liver may collaborate immunologically while keep homeostasis using own strategies, including potential unique mechanisms.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Bile / metabolism
  • Fishes / genetics
  • Fishes / immunology*
  • Gastrointestinal Tract / immunology*
  • Gene Expression Regulation
  • Gene Library
  • Gene Ontology
  • Homeostasis*
  • Immunity, Mucosal*
  • Inflammation / genetics*
  • Inflammation / immunology
  • Inflammation / metabolism
  • Liver / immunology*
  • Mucus / metabolism
  • Protein Domains
  • Proteome / metabolism*
  • RNA, Messenger / genetics
  • RNA, Messenger / metabolism
  • Transcriptome / genetics*


  • Proteome
  • RNA, Messenger