Cardiac pathological changes of Atlantic salmon (Salmo salar L.) affected with heart and skeletal muscle inflammation (HSMI)

M N Yousef, E O Koppang, K Skjødt, B Köllner, I Hordvik, J Zou, C Secombes, M D Powell

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15 Citations (Scopus)


Heart and skeletal muscle inflammation (HSMI) is a disease of marine farmed Atlantic salmon where the pathological changes associated with the disease involve necrosis and an infiltration of inflammatory cells into different regions of the heart and skeletal muscle. The aim of this work was to characterize cardiac changes and inflammatory cell types associated with a clinical HSMI outbreak in Atlantic salmon using immunohistochemistry. Different immune cells and cardiac tissue responses associated with the disease were identified using different markers. The spectrum of inflammatory cells associated with the cardiac pathology consisted of mainly CD3(+) T lymphocytes, moderate numbers of macrophages and eosinophilic granulocytes. Proliferative cell nuclear antigen (PCNA) immuno-reaction identified significantly increased nuclear and cytoplasmic staining as well as identifying hypertrophic nuclei. Strong immunostaining was observed for major histocompatibility complex (MHC) class II in HSMI hearts. Although low in number, a few positive cells in diseased hearts were detected using the mature myeloid cell line granulocytes/monocytes antibody indicating more positive cells in diseased than non-diseased hearts. The recombinant tumor necrosis factor-α (TNFα) antibody identified stained macrophage-like cells and endothelial cells around lesions in addition to eosinophilic granular cells (EGCs). These findings suggested that the inflammatory response in diseased hearts comprised of mostly CD3(+) T lymphocytes and eosinophilic granular cells and hearts exhibited high cell turnover where DNA damage/repair might be the case (as identified by PCNA, caspase 3 and terminal deoxynucleotidyl transferase nick-end labeling (TUNEL) reactivity).
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)305-315
Number of pages11
JournalFish & Shellfish Immunology
Issue number2
Early online date18 May 2012
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2012


  • CD3
  • immunohistochemistry
  • HSMI
  • MHC
  • CD8


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