DAO 52:207-215 (2002)  -  doi:10.3354/dao052207

Host site of activity and cytological effects of histone like proteins on the parasitic dinoflagellate Amyloodinium ocellatum

Edward J. Noga*, Zhiqin Fan, Umaporn Silphaduang

Department of Clinical Sciences, College of Veterinary Medicine, North Carolina State University, 4700 Hillsborough Street, Raleigh, North Carolina 27606, USA

ABSTRACT: Histone-like proteins (HLPs) are broad-spectrum, endogenously produced antibiotics which we have isolated from tissues of rainbow trout Oncorhynchus mykiss and hybrid striped bass (Morone saxatilis male x M. chrysops female). Here, we show that HLP-1, which has high sequence homology to histone H2B, equally inhibited both young and mature trophonts of the important ectoparasite Amyloodinium ocellatum. In addition to direct killing of Amyloodinium trophonts, there was evidence that HLP-1 from both rainbow trout and hybrid striped bass caused severe developmental abnormalities, including delayed development, in both the parasitic trophont stage as well as the reproductive tomont stage. The deleterious effects of HLP-1 also were manifested in what appeared to be ┼ĺdelayed mortality┬╣, where parasites of normal appearance would die later in development. Similar serious damage was also seen with calf histone H2B and the unrelated peptide antibiotic magainin 2. A comparison of the antibiotic activity in mucus versus epidermis compartments of the skin of hybrid striped bass suggested that the majority of antibiotic (including HLP-1) activity resided in the epidermis, although some activity was present in the mucus. These data suggest that normal, nonimmune fish skin contains potent defenses against protozoan ectoparasites and that the effects of these defenses may extend beyond their transient interactions with the parasites, which has important implications for this host-parasite relationship.

KEY WORDS: Histone-like proteins · Innate immunity · Fish

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