Head kidney-derived macrophages of common carp (Cyprinus carpio L.) show plasticity and functional polarization upon differential stimulation

M. Joerink, C.M.S. Ribeiro, R.J.M. Stet, G.J. Hermsen, H.F.J. Savelkoul, G.F. Wiegertjes

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

105 Citations (Scopus)


Cells from the myeloid lineage are pluripotent, To investigate the potential of myeloid cell polarization in a primitive vertebrate species, we plienotypically and functionally characterized myeloid cells of common carp (Cyprinus carpio L.) during culture. Flow cytometric analysis, Ab labeling of cell surface markers, and light microscopy showed the presence of a major population of heterogeneous macrophages after culture. These head kidney-derived macrophages can be considered the fish equivalent of bone marrow-derived macrophages and show the ability to phagocytose, produce radicals, and polarize into innate activated or alternatively activated macrophages. Macrophage polarization was based on differential activity of inducible NO synihase and arginase for innate and alternative activation, respectively. Correspondingly, gene expression profiling after stimulation with LPS or cAMP showed differential expression for most of the immune genes presently described for carp. The recently described novel Ig-like transcript 1 (NILT1) and the CXCR1 and CXCR2 chemokine receptors were up-regulated after stimulation with cAMP, an inducer of alternative activation in carp macrophages. Up-regulation of NILT1 was also seen during the later phase of a Trypanosoma carassii infection, where macrophages are primarily alternatively activated. However, NILT1 could not be up-regulated during a Trypanoplasma borreli infection, a model for innate activation. Our data suggest that NILT1, CXCR1, and CXCR2 could be considered markers for alternatively activated macrophages in fish
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)61-69
Number of pages9
JournalThe Journal of Immunology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2006


  • nitric-oxide synthase
  • alternatively activated macrophages
  • trout oncorhynchus-mykiss
  • cell-line
  • in-vitro
  • teleost macrophages
  • respiratory burst
  • expression
  • fish
  • receptor

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