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Diseases of Aquatic Organisms

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DAO 106:57-68 (2013)  -  DOI:

Small leucine-rich proteoglycans in the vertebrae of Atlantic salmon Salmo salar

Mona E. Pedersen1,*, Elisabeth Ytteborg1, Achim Kohler1,2, Grete Baeverfjord1, Grethe Enersen1, Bente Ruyter1, Harald Takle1,3, Kirsten O. Hannesson1

1Nofima AS, Pb 6122, 9291 Tromsø, Norway
2Centre for Integrative Genetics (CIGENE), Department of Mathematical Sciences and Technology, Norwegian University of Life Sciences, 1432 Ås, Norway
3AVS Chile SA, Casilles 300, Puerto Varas, Chile

ABSTRACT: We analysed the distribution and expression of the small leucine-rich proteoglycans (SLRPs) decorin, biglycan and lumican in vertebral columns of Atlantic salmon Salmo salar L. with and without radiographically detectable deformities. Vertebral deformities are a reoccurring problem in salmon and other intensively farmed species, and an understanding of the components involved in the pathologic development of the vertebrae is important in order to find adequate solutions to this problem. Using immunohistology and light microscopy, we found that in non-deformed vertebrae biglycan, lumican and decorin were all expressed in osteoblasts at the vertebral growth zones and at the ossification front of the chondrocytic arches. Hence, the SLRPs are expressed in regions where intramembranous and endochondral ossification take place. In addition, mRNA expression of biglycan, decorin and lumican was demonstrated in a primary osteoblast culture established from Atlantic salmon, supporting the in vivo findings. Transcription of the SLRPs increased during differentiation of the osteoblasts in vitro and where lumican mRNA expression increased later in the differentiation compared with decorin and biglycan. Intriguingly, in vertebral fusions, biglycan, decorin and lumican protein expression was extended to trans-differentiating cells at the border between arch centra and osteoblast growth zones. In addition, mRNA expression of biglycan, decorin and lumican differed between non-deformed and fused vertebrae, as shown by quantitative PCR (qPCR). Western blotting revealed an additional band of biglycan in fused vertebrae which had a higher molecular weight than in non-deformed vertebrae. Fourier-transform infrared (FTIR) spectroscopy revealed more spectral focality in the endplates of vertebral fusions and significantly more non-reducible collagen crosslinks compared with non-deformed vertebrae, thus identifying differences in bone structure.

KEY WORDS: Atlantic salmon · Bone development · Skeletal deformities · SLRP · Vertebrae

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Cite this article as: Pedersen ME, Ytteborg E, Kohler A, Baeverfjord G and others (2013) Small leucine-rich proteoglycans in the vertebrae of Atlantic salmon Salmo salar. Dis Aquat Org 106:57-68.

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