Characterization of immune response against Mycobacterium marinum infection in the main hematopoietic organ of adult zebrafish (Danio rerio)

Dev Comp Immunol. 2020 Feb;103:103523. doi: 10.1016/j.dci.2019.103523. Epub 2019 Oct 15.


Tuberculosis remains a major global health challenge. To gain information about genes important for defense against tuberculosis, we used a well-established tuberculosis model; Mycobacterium marinum infection in adult zebrafish. To characterize the immunological response to mycobacterial infection at 14 days post infection, we performed a whole-genome level transcriptome analysis using cells from kidney, the main hematopoietic organ of adult zebrafish. Among the upregulated genes, those associated with immune signaling and regulation formed the largest category, whereas the largest group of downregulated genes had a metabolic role. We also performed a forward genetic screen in adult zebrafish and identified a fish line with severely impaired survival during chronic mycobacterial infection. Based on transcriptome analysis, these fish have decreased expression of several immunological genes. Taken together, these results give new information about the genes involved in the defense against mycobacterial infection in zebrafish.

Keywords: Forward genetic screen; Mycobacterium marinum; Transcriptome analysis; Zebrafish.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Gene Expression Profiling
  • Hematopoietic System / immunology*
  • Kidney / immunology
  • Mycobacterium Infections, Nontuberculous / immunology*
  • Mycobacterium marinum
  • Zebrafish / immunology*

Supplementary concepts

  • Infection with Mycobacterium marinum