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Characterization of mononuclear phagocytic cells in medaka fish transgenic for a cxcr3a:gfp reporter

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Aghaallaei,  Narges
Department of Developmental Immunology, Max Planck Institute of Immunobiology and Epigenetics, Max Planck Society;

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Bajoghli,  Baubak
Department of Developmental Immunology, Max Planck Institute of Immunobiology and Epigenetics, Max Planck Society;

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Schorpp,  Michael
Department of Developmental Immunology, Max Planck Institute of Immunobiology and Epigenetics, Max Planck Society;

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Boehm,  Thomas
Department of Developmental Immunology, Max Planck Institute of Immunobiology and Epigenetics, Max Planck Society;

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Citation

Aghaallaei, N., Bajoghli, B., Schwarz, H., Schorpp, M., & Boehm, T. (2010). Characterization of mononuclear phagocytic cells in medaka fish transgenic for a cxcr3a:gfp reporter. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences U.S.A., 107, 18079-18084.


Cite as: http://hdl.handle.net/11858/00-001M-0000-002B-8E73-5
Abstract
Chemokines and chemokine receptors are key evolutionary innovations of vertebrates. They are involved in morphogenetic processes and play an important role in the immune system. Based on an analysis of the chemokine receptor gene family in teleost genomes, and the expression patterns of chemokine receptor genes during embryogenesis and the wounding response in young larvae of Oryzias latipes, we identified the chemokine receptor cxcr3a as a marker of innate immune cells. Cells expressing cxcr3a were characterized in fish transgenic for a cxcr3a:gfp reporter. In embryos and larvae, cxcr3a-expressing cells are motile in healthy and damaged tissues, and phagocytic; the majority of these cells has the morphology of tissue macrophages, whereas a small fraction has a dendritic phenotype. In adults, cxcr3a-positive cells continue to specifically express myeloid-associate markers and genes related to antigen uptake and presentation. By light microscopy and ultrastructural analysis, the majority of cxcr3a-expressing cells has a dendritic phenotype, whereas the remainder resembles macrophage-like cells. After challenge of adult fish with bacteria or CpG oligonucleotides, phagocytosing cxcr3a-positive cells in the blood up-regulated il12p40 genes, compatible with their function as part of the mononuclear phagocytic system. Our results identify a marker of teleost mononuclear phagocytic cells and suggest a surprising degree of morphological and functional similarity between the innate immune systems of lower and higher vertebrates.