Stiftung Tierärztliche Hochschule Hannover (TiHo)

Characterization of carp seminal plasma Wap65-2 and its participation in the testicular immune response and temperature acclimation

Two functionally distinct isoforms of warm-temperature acclimation related 65-kDa protein (Wap65-1 and Wap65-2) with a role in the immune response are present in fish. To our knowledge, contrary to Wap65-1, Wap65-2 has neither been isolated nor functionally characterized in carp especially in reproductive system. The aim of this study was to characterize Wap65-2 and ascertain its functions in immune response and temperature acclimation within reproductive system. Wap65-2 corresponded to one of the most abundant proteins in carp seminal plasma, with a high immunologic similarity to their counterparts in seminal plasma of other fish species and a wide tissue distribution, with predominant expression in the liver. The immunohistochemical localization of Wap65-2 to spermatogonia, Leydig cells, and the epithelium of blood vessels within the testis suggests its role in iron metabolism during spermatogenesis and maintenance of blood-testis barrier integrity. Wap65-2 secretion by the epithelial cells of the spermatic duct and its presence around spermatozoa suggests its involvement in the protection of spermatozoa against damage caused by heme released from erythrocytes following hemorrhage and inflammation. Our results revealed an isoform-specific response of Wap65 to temperature acclimation and Aeromonas salmonicida infection which alters blood-testis barrier integrity. Wap65-2 seems to be related to the immune response against bacteria, while Wap65-1 seems to be involved in temperature acclimation. This study expands the understanding of the mechanism of carp testicular immunity against bacterial challenge and temperature changes, in which Wap65-2 seems to be involved and highlights their potential usefulness as biomarkers of inflammation and temperature acclimation.

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