Development of leucocyte cell lines for immunological research in teleost fish

This programme aims to take advantage of our recent success in cloning fish cytokines, to develop fish leucocyte cell lines. We will produce the recombinant proteins and add to leucocyte primary cultures as growth factors to allow their growth in vitro. In addition, we will combine this treatment with antigen stimulation, by using leucocytes derived from immunised fish. In addition to morphological studies, we will undertake molecular and functional analysis to give a preliminary characterisation of the cell types that grow under these conditions and determine their cytotoxic and phagocytic activities. We will test whether the cell lines can be used to measure responses to exogenous immunostimuli such as lipopolysaccride, polyI:C and recombinant cytokines. We believe that the established cell lines will provide a permanent platform for basic research of the fish immune system, thereby reducing the need to kill fish to harvest tissues. They will also help reduce fish suffering by allowing some testing of aquaculture drugs/reagents, and the impact of some chemicals/pollutants to be carried out in vitro before in vivo studies, to establish whether they impact on leucocyte function and therefore potentially fish health and welfare.

Johansson P et al. (2016). Identification and expression modulation of a C-type lectin domain family 4 homologue that is highly expressed in monocytes/macrophages in rainbow trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss). Dev Comp Immunol. 54(1):55-65. doi: 10.1016/j.dci.2015.08.005

Chen J et al. (2013). Phylogenetic analysis of vertebrate CXC chemokines reveals novel lineage specific groups in teleost fish. Dev Comp Immunol. 41(2):137-52. doi: 10.1016/j.dci.2013.05.006

Corripio-Miyar Y et al. (2012). Long-term stimulation of trout head kidney cells with the cytokines MCSF, IL-2 and IL-6: gene expression dynamics. Fish Shellfish Immunol 32(1):35-44. doi: 10.1016/j.fsi.2011.10.016


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Project grant



Principal investigator

Dr Jun Zou


University of Aberdeen


Professor Christopher Secombes

Grant reference number


Award date

Jan 2009 - Dec 2011

Grant amount