Characterisation of arginase paralogues in salmonids and their modulation by immune stimulation/ infection

Ottavia Benedicenti*, Tiehui Wang, Eakapol Wangkahart, Douglas J. Milne, Jason W. Holland, Catherine Collins, Christopher J. Secombes

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Citations (Scopus)
14 Downloads (Pure)


In this study we show that four arginase isoforms (arg1a, arg1b, arg2a, arg2b) exist in rainbow trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss) and Atlantic salmon (Salmo salar). We have characterised these molecules in terms of a) sequence analysis, b) constitutive expression in different tissues, and modulated expression following c) stimulation of head kidney macrophages in vitro, or d) vaccination/infection with Yersinia ruckeri and e) parasite infection (AGD caused by Paramoeba perurans and PKD caused by Tetracapsuloides bryosalmonae). Synteny analysis suggested that these arginase genes are paralogues likely from the Ss4R duplication event, and amino acid identity/similarity analyses showed that the proteins are relatively well conserved across species. In rainbow trout constitutive expression of one or both paralogues was seen in most tissues but different constitutive expression patterns were observed for the different isoforms. Stimulation of rainbow trout head kidney macrophages with PAMPs and cytokines also revealed isoform specific responses and kinetics, with arg1a being particularly highly modulated by the PAMPs and pro-inflammatory cytokines. In contrast the type II arginase paralogues were induced by rIl-4/13, albeit to a lesser degree. Vaccination and infection with Y. ruckeri also revealed isoform specific responses, with variation in tissue expression level and kinetics. Lastly, the impact of parasite infection was studied, where down regulation of arg1a and arg1b was seen in two different models (AGD in salmon and PKD in trout) and of arg2a in AGD. The differential responses seen are discussed in the context of markers of type II responses in fish and paralogue subfunctionalization.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)138-151
Number of pages14
JournalFish & Shellfish Immunology
Early online date23 Dec 2016
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2017

Bibliographical note

OB was supported by a PhD studentship from the Marine Collaboration Research Forum (MarCRF), which is a collaboration between the University of Aberdeen and Marine Scotland Science, Marine Laboratory (MSS), and through Scottish Government project AQ0080. EW was supported by a PhD studentship from the Ministry of Science and Technology of Thailand and Mahasarakham University. TW received funding from the Marine Alliance for Science and Technology for Scotland (MASTS), a pooling initiative funded by the Scottish Funding Council (grant reference HR09011), and JWH was supported by the Swiss National Science Foundation (grant reference CRSII3_147649-1).


  • Arginase paralogues
  • Oncorhynchus mykiss
  • Salmo solar
  • Macrophages
  • Vaccination
  • Parasite infections
  • FISH
  • GENE


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