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Effects of Sex Steroids on Fish Leukocytes

1 , 2 , * , 2

Biology

MDPI

oestrogens, androgens, progestins, immune system, leukocytes, teleosts

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      Abstract

      In vertebrates, in addition to their classically reproductive functions, steroids regulate the immune system. This action is possible mainly due to the presence of steroid receptors in the different immune cell types. Much evidence suggests that the immune system of fish is vulnerable to xenosteroids, which are ubiquitous in the aquatic environment. In vivo and in vitro assays have amply demonstrated that oestrogens interfere with both the innate and the adaptive immune system of fish by regulating the main leukocyte activities and transcriptional genes. They activate nuclear oestrogen receptors and/or G-protein coupled oestrogen receptor. Less understood is the role of androgens in the immune system, mainly due to the complexity of the transcriptional regulation of androgen receptors in fish. The aim of this manuscript is to review our present knowledge concerning the effect of sex steroid hormones and the presence of their receptors on fish leukocytes, taking into consideration that the studies performed vary as regard the fish species, doses, exposure protocols and hormones used. Moreover, we also include evidence of the probable role of progestins in the regulation of the immune system of fish.

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      Most cited references 159

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      Infection of cells by microorganisms activates the inflammatory response. The initial sensing of infection is mediated by innate pattern recognition receptors (PRRs), which include Toll-like receptors, RIG-I-like receptors, NOD-like receptors, and C-type lectin receptors. The intracellular signaling cascades triggered by these PRRs lead to transcriptional expression of inflammatory mediators that coordinate the elimination of pathogens and infected cells. However, aberrant activation of this system leads to immunodeficiency, septic shock, or induction of autoimmunity. In this Review, we discuss the role of PRRs, their signaling pathways, and how they control inflammatory responses. 2010 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
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        Parasites, Bright Males, and the Immunocompetence Handicap

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          The stress response in fish.

           S Bonga (1997)
          The stress response in teleost fish shows many similarities to that of the terrestrial vertebrates. These concern the principal messengers of the brain-sympathetic-chromaffin cell axis (equivalent of the brain-sympathetic-adrenal medulla axis) and the brain-pituitary-interrenal axis (equivalent of the brain-pituitary-adrenal axis), as well as their functions, involving stimulation of oxygen uptake and transfer, mobilization of energy substrates, reallocation of energy away from growth and reproduction, and mainly suppressive effects on immune functions. There is also growing evidence for intensive interaction between the neuroendocrine system and the immune system in fish. Conspicuous differences, however, are present, and these are primarily related to the aquatic environment of fishes. For example, stressors increase the permeability of the surface epithelia, including the gills, to water and ions, and thus induce systemic hydromineral disturbances. High circulating catecholamine levels as well as structural damage to the gills and perhaps the skin are prime causal factors. This is associated with increased cellular turnover in these organs. In fish, cortisol combines glucocorticoid and mineralocorticoid actions, with the latter being essential for the restoration of hydromineral homeostasis, in concert with hormones such as prolactin (in freshwater) and growth hormone (in seawater). Toxic stressors are part of the stress literature in fish more so than in mammals. This is mainly related to the fact that fish are exposed to aquatic pollutants via the extensive and delicate respiratory surface of the gills and, in seawater, also via drinking. The high bioavailability of many chemicals in water is an additional factor. Together with the variety of highly sensitive perceptive mechanisms in the integument, this may explain why so many pollutants evoke an integrated stress response in fish in addition to their toxic effects at the cell and tissue levels. Exposure to chemicals may also directly compromise the stress response by interfering with specific neuroendocrine control mechanisms. Because hydromineral disturbance is inherent to stress in fish, external factors such as water pH, mineral composition, and ionic calcium levels have a significant impact on stressor intensity. Although the species studied comprise a small and nonrepresentative sample of the almost 20,000 known teleost species, there are many indications that the stress response is variable and flexible in fish, in line with the great diversity of adaptations that enable these animals to live in a large variety of aquatic habitats.
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            Author and article information

            Affiliations
            [1 ]Centro Oceanográfico de Murcia, Instituto Español de Oceanografía, 30860 Puerto de Mazarrón, Spain; elena.chaves@ 123456ieo.es
            [2 ]Department of Cell Biology and Histology, Regional Campus of International Excellence “Campus Mare Nostrum,” University of Murcia, 30100 Murcia, Spain; icabas@ 123456um.es
            Author notes
            [* ]Correspondence: agayala@ 123456um.es ; Tel.: +34-868-884968; Fax: +34-868-883963
            Journal
            Biology (Basel)
            Biology (Basel)
            biology
            Biology
            MDPI
            2079-7737
            09 January 2018
            March 2018
            : 7
            : 1
            29315244
            5872035
            10.3390/biology7010009
            biology-07-00009
            © 2018 by the authors.

            Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland. This article is an open access article distributed under the terms and conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) license ( http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/).

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