Cytokine and acute phase protein expression in blood samples of harbour seal pups
- 220 Downloads
Cytokines and acute phase proteins (APP) are important mediators of the immune system and sensitive parameters to assess the immune status of mammals. Especially in newborn animals, maturation of the immune system is important for their survival. However, only little information is available for pinnipeds. To get baseline levels and investigate the development of the immune system, cytokine and APP expression was analysed in blood samples of six and eight harbour seal pups collected at the German North Sea Coast in 2004 and 2005, respectively. Blood samples were taken at admission and after rehabilitation in the Seal Centre Friedrichskoog. mRNA expressions of interleukin (IL)-1β, 2, 4, 6, 8, 10, 12, interferon (IFN)γ, and transforming growth factor (TGF)β, as well as of APP haptoglobin (HP), heat shock protein (HSP) 70 and metallothionein (MT) 2 were analyzed using real time RT-PCR. Cytokine and APP expression varied between animals and years. However, general changes during rehabilitation of pups were present. Higher levels of pro-inflammatory cytokines IL-1β, 6, 8, and 12 were found at admission, consistent with an activated immune system, whereas the anti-inflammatory cytokine IL-4 was increased after rehabilitation, suggesting recovery from infections and maturation of the immune system during rehabilitation. This preliminary study suggests that cytokines are sensitive parameters to assess the immune system of harbour seals.
KeywordsAcute Phase Protein Harbour Seal Harbour Porpoise Piro Grey Seal
The authors would like to thank all volunteers for reporting and collecting seals, in particular seal hunters from the German North Sea Cost, and all employers, students, and helpers at the Seal Centre Friedrichskoog for their dedication.
- Beineke A, Siebert U, van Elk N, Baumgärtner W (2004) Development of a lymphocyte-transformation-assay for peripheral blood lymphocytes of the harbor porpoise and detection of cytokines using the reverse-transcription polymerase chain reaction. Vet Immunol Immunopathol 98:59–68. doi: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.vetimm.2003.10.002 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Bremner I, Beattie JH (1990) Metallothionein and the trace metals. Annu Rev Nutr 10:63–83. doi: https://doi.org/10.1146/annurev.nu.10.070190.000431 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Di Piro JT (1997) Cytokine networks with infection: mycobacterial infections, leishmaniasis, human immunodeficiency virus infection, and sepsis. Pharmacotherapy 17:205–223Google Scholar
- Funke C, King DP, McBain JF, Adelung D, Stott JL (2003) Expression and functional characterization of killer whale (Orcinus orca) interleukin-6 (IL-6) and development of a competitive immunoassay. Vet Immunol Immunopathol 93:69–79. doi: https://doi.org/10.1016/S0165-2427(03)00055-2 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Heegaard PMH, Klausen J, Nielsen JP, Gonzalez-Ramon N, Pineiro M, Lampreave F et al (1998) The porcine acute phase response to infection with Actinobacillus pleuropneumoniae. Haptoglobin, C-reactive protein, major acute phase protein and serum amyloid a protein are sensitive indicators of infection. Comp Biochem Physiol B 119:365–373. doi: https://doi.org/10.1016/S0305-0491(97)00362-3 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- King DP, Schrenzel MD, McKnight ML, Reidarson TH, Hanni KD, Stott JL et al (1996) Molecular cloning and sequencing of interleukin 6 cDNA fragments from the harbor seal (Phoca vitulina), killer whale (Orcinus orca), and Southern sea otter (Enhydra lutris nereis). Immunogenetics 43:190–195CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Kostro K, Glinski Z, Wojcicka-Lorenowicz K, Krakowski L (2001) Acute-phase proteins as indicators of diseases in animals. Med Weter 57:539–542Google Scholar
- Kostro K, Wojcicka-Lorenowicz K, Glinski Z, Krakowski L, Wrona Z (2002) Acute phase proteins as ligands of cells of the immune system. Med Weter 58:929–933Google Scholar
- Ness TL, Bradley WG, Reynolds JE, Roess WB (1998) Isolation and expression of the interleukin-2 gene from the killer whale, Orcinus orca. Mar Mamm Sci 14:531–543. doi: https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1748-7692.1998.tb00740.x CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Siebert U, Fonfara S, Mundry R, Lehnert K, Seibel H, Rademaker M (2006) Untersuchungen zum Gesundheitszustand von Robben in Schleswig-Holstein im Jahr 2005. Bericht an das Ministerium für Landwirtschaft, Umwelt und ländliche Räume des Landes Schleswig-Holstein und das Landesamt für den Nationalpark Schleswig-Holsteinisches WattenmeerGoogle Scholar
- Young RA (1990) Stress proteins and immunology. Annu Rev Immunol 8:401–420. doi: https://doi.org/10.1146/annurev.iy.08.040190.002153 CrossRefGoogle Scholar