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Prevailing role of mucosal immunoglobulins and B cells in teleost skin immune responses to bacterial infection

By Xiao-Ting Zhang, Yong-Yao Yu, Hao-Yue Xu, Zhen-Yu Huang, Xia Liu, Jia-Feng Cao, Kai-Feng Meng, Zheng-Ben Wu, Guang-Kun Han, Meng-Ting Zhan, Li-Guo Ding, Wei-Guang Kong, Nan Li, Fumio Takizawa, Sunyer J Oriol, Zhen Xu

Posted 21 Sep 2020
bioRxiv DOI: 10.1101/2020.09.21.305920

The skin of vertebrates is the outermost organ of the body and serves as the first line of defense against external aggressions. In contrast to mammalian skin, that of teleost fish lacks keratinization and has evolved to operate as a mucosal surface containing a skin-associated lymphoid tissue (SALT). Thus far, IgT representing the prevalent immunoglobulin (Ig) in SALT have only been reported upon infection with a parasite. However, very little is known about the types of B cells and Igs responding to bacterial infection in the teleost skin mucosa, as well as the inductive or effector role of the SALT in such responses. To address these questions, here we analyzed the immune response of trout skin upon infection with one of the most widespread fish skin bacterial pathogens, Flavobacterium columnare . This pathogen induced strong skin innate immune and inflammatory responses at the initial phases of infection. More critically, we found that the skin mucus of fish having survived the infection contained significant IgT-but not IgM- or IgD-specific titers against the bacteria. Moreover, we d emonstrate the local proliferation and production of IgT+ B-cells and specific IgT titers respectively within the SALT upon bacterial infection. Thus, our findings represent the first demonstration that IgT is the main Ig isotype induced by the skin mucosa upon bacterial infection, and that because of the large surface of the skin, its SALT probably represents a prominent IgT inductive site in fish. ### Competing Interest Statement The authors have declared no competing interest.

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