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Diseases of Aquatic Organisms

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DAO 57:67-75 (2003)  -  doi:10.3354/dao057067

Minor effect of depletion of resident macrophages from peritoneal cavity on resistance of common carp Cyprinus carpio to blood flagellates

Jeroen P. J. Saeij1, Adrie Groeneveld1, Nico Van Rooijen2, Olga L. M. Haenen3, Geert F. Wiegertjes1,*

1Cell Biology and Immunology Group, Wageningen Institute of Animal Sciences, Wageningen University, PO Box 338, 6700 AH Wageningen, The Netherlands
2Free University, Department of Molecular Cell Biology, Faculty of Medicine, POB 7057, 1007 MB Amsterdam, The Netherlands
3Central Institute for Animal Disease Control, POB 2004, 8203 AA Lelystad, The Netherlands
*Corresponding author. Email:

ABSTRACT: Carp Cyprinus carpio macrophages were depleted by intraperitoneal (i.p.) injection of clodronate-liposomes for the in vivo study of the effect of macrophage depletion on the resistance of carp to infection with blood flagellate parasites. Clodronate released inside the cell induces apoptosis of (murine) macrophages. Following i.p. injection of carp with liposomes alone, but not with Trypanoplasma borreli, neutrophilic granulocytes rapidly migrated from the head kidney to the peritoneal cavity. The majority of liposomes in the peritoneal cavity were not taken up by newly arrived neutrophilic granulocytes, however, but by resident macrophages. After 2 i.p. injections of clodronate-liposomes, the percentage of macrophages present in the peritoneal cavity was significantly reduced, as evaluated by flow cytometry. Macrophage-depleted carp that were infected i.p. with T. borreli suffered from high mortality. However, these fish did not show lethal parasitaemia but did show clear bacteraemia. Macrophage-depleted carp that were infected i.p. with Trypanosoma carassii showed a minor increase in parasitaemia. In addition, macrophage-depleted carp, immune to T. borreli as a result of having survived a prior infection, remained immune to i.p. reinfection with T. borreli. Succesful depletion of peritoneal macrophages seemed to have a minor effect on the resistance of carp against blood flagellates. However, carp macrophages are essential as a first line of defence against (bacterial) infection.

KEY WORDS: Cyprinus carpio · Macrophages · Clodronate · Trypanoplasma borreli · Trypanosoma carassii

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