Rainbow trout mount a robust specific immune response upon anal administration of thymus-independent antigens
Despite the strong demand for orally-delivered fish vaccines and the deficient response of those currently available in the market, little is known about how teleost B cells differentiate to antibody secreting cells (ASCs) in response to antigens delivered to the intestinal mucosa. To fill this gap, in the current study, we have studied the dynamics of B cell differentiation in spleen and kidney of rainbow trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss) anally immunized with antigens catalogued in mammals as thymus dependent (TD) or thymus-independent (TI). Our results show that, in the absence of additional adjuvants, rainbow trout preferentially responded to a model TI antigen such as TNP-LPS (2,4,6-trinitrophenyl hapten conjugated to lipopolysaccharide). The anal administration of TNP-LPS elicited TNP-specific serum antibodies, and a significant increase in the number of total and TNP-specific ASCs in both spleen and kidney, being the kidney the site where most ASCs are found at later time points. In the spleen, a proliferative response of both IgM B and T cells was also clearly visible, while the proliferative response was weaker in the kidney. Finally, TNP-LPS also provoked a transcriptional regulation of some immune genes in the spleen and the intestine, including a decreased transcription of foxp3a and foxp3b in intestine that suggests a breach in tolerogenic responses in response to TI stimulation. These results contribute to a better understanding of how intestinal immunity is regulated in teleost and will aid in the future design of effective oral strategies for aquaculture.