Teleost fish are among the most ancient vertebrates possessing an adaptive immune system with B and T lymphocytes that produce memory responses to pathogens. Most bony fish, however, have only 2 types of B lymphocytes, in contrast to the 4 types available to mammals. To better understand the evolution of adaptive immunity, we generated transgenic zebrafish in which the major immunoglobul in M (IgM1) B-cell subset expresses green fluorescence protein (GFP) (IgM1:eGFP). We discovered that the earliest IgM1 B cells appear between the dorsal aorta and posterior cardinal vein and also in the kidney around 20 days postfertilization. We also examined B-cell ontogeny in adult IgM1:eGFP;rag2: DsRed animals, where we defined pro-B, pre-B, and immature/mature B cells in the adult kidney. Sites of B-cell development that shift between the embryo and adult have previously been describedinbirds and mammals. Our results suggest thatthis developmental shift occurs in all jawed vertebrates. Finally, we used IgM1:eGFP and cd45DsRed; blimp1: eGFP zebrafish to characterize plasma B cells and investigate B-cell function. The IgM1:eGFP reporter fish are the first nonmammalian B-cell reporter animals to be described. They will be important for further investigation of immune cell evolution and development and host-pathogen interactions in zebrafish.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cell Biology