Yang, D., Liu, Q., Ni, C., Li, S., Wu, H., Wang, Q., Xiao, J., and Zhang, Y. (2013) Gene expression profiling in live attenuated Edwardsiella tarda vaccine immunized and challenged zebrafish: Insights into the basic mechanisms of protection seen in immunized fish. Developmental and comparative immunology. 40(2):132-41.
Despite the importance and success of vaccine immunization against bacterial diseases in fish, little is known about the molecular mechanisms of vaccine-induced immune protection in teleost fish. In this study, the live attenuated Edwardsiella tarda vaccine strain WED, which has been shown to evoke efficacious protection against edwardsiellosis and ascites diseases in fish, was extensively evaluated for multiple parameters in a 5-week immunization and challenge experiment in zebrafish. The parameters evaluated included the immunologic potency (relative percent survival, RPS), the specific IgM antibody titers and the expression profiles of multiple immune-related gene markers at multiple time points following immunization and challenge. During the 4-week immunization phase, the toll-like receptor (TLR) 5 signaling pathway, the MHC-I antigen processing pathway and cytotoxic T lymphocyte (CTL) responses were activated in succession. In contrast, the MHC-II antigen processing pathway and the markers of CD4+ T lymphocyte activation were down-regulated, and IgM transcription and specific IgM antibody titers were not significantly induced following immunization. During the 1-week challenge phase, the induction of MHC-I and CTL responses and the inhibition of MHC-II and CD4+ T cell responses were similarly observed in immunized zebrafish following challenge with wild E. tarda. With the 5-week immunization and challenge model, our data suggest the basic mechanism that underlying the long-lasting protective immunity elicited by WED in zebrafish. This mechanism involved the induction of the TLR-5 signaling pathway, the MHC-I antigen processing pathway and CTL effector function, and CTL function seems play a major role in the protection against E. tarda infection in zebrafish.