Evidence of trained immunity in a fish: Conserved features in carp macrophages

Jules Petit, Carmen W.E. Embregts, Maria Forlenza, Geert F. Wiegertjes*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

10 Citations (Scopus)


Trained immunity is a form of innate immune memory best described in mice and humans. Clear evidence of the evolutionary conservation of trained immunity in teleost fish is lacking. Given the evolutionary position of teleosts as early vertebrates with a fully developed immune system, we hypothesize that teleost myeloid cells show features of trained immunity common to those observed in mammalian macrophages. These would at least include the ability of fish macrophages to mount heightened responses to a secondary stimulus in a nonspecific manner. We established an in vitro model to study trained immunity in fish by adapting a well-described culture system of head kidney-derived macrophages of common carp. A soluble NOD-specific ligand and a soluble b-glucan were used to train carp macrophages, after which cells were rested for 6 d prior to exposure to a secondary stimulus. Unstimulated trained macrophages displayed evidence of metabolic reprogramming as well as heightened phagocytosis and increased expression of the inflammatory cytokines il6 and tnf-a. Stimulated trained macrophages showed heightened production of reactive oxygen and nitrogen species as compared with the corresponding stimulated but untrained cells. We discuss the value of our findings for future studies on trained immunity in teleost fish.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)216-224
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Immunology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jul 2019

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