Congenital asplenia due to a tlx1 mutation reduces resistance to Aeromonas hydrophila infection in zebrafish

In this study, we demonstrated that tlx1 is expressed in the splenic primordia as early as 52 hours post-fertilization (hpf) in zebrafish. A tlx1−/− homozygous mutant line was generated via CRISPR/Cas9 to elucidate the roles of tlx1 in spleen development in zebrafish. In the tlx1−/− background, tlx1−/− cells persisted in the splenic primordia until 52 hpf but were no longer detectable after 53 hpf, suggesting perturbation of early spleen development. The zebrafish also exhibited congenital asplenia caused by the tlx1 mutation. Asplenic zebrafish can survive and breed normally under standard laboratory conditions, but the survival rate of animals infected with Aeromonas hydrophila was significantly lower than that of wild-type (WT) zebrafish. In asplenic zebrafish, the mononuclear phagocyte system was partially impaired, as demonstrated by retarded b7r expression and reduced ccr2 expression after injection with an inactivated A. hydrophila vaccine. Furthermore, the expression of MHCII/IgM was significantly reduced in the congenitally asplenic fish compared with that of the WT zebrafish. Taken together, our data suggest that tlx1 is a crucial regulator of spleen development in fish, as it is in mammals. We have also provided a new perspective for studying the role of the spleen during pathogen challenge in fish.
Source: Fish and Shellfish Immunology - Category: Biology Source Type: research

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