Salinity change impairs pipefish immune defence

Birrer, Simone C., Reusch, Thorsten B.H. and Roth, Olivia (2012) Salinity change impairs pipefish immune defence Fish & Shellfish Immunology, 33 (6). pp. 1238-1248. DOI 10.1016/j.fsi.2012.08.028.

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Abstract

Global change is associated with fast and severe alterations of environmental conditions. Superimposed onto existing salinity variations in a semi-enclosed brackish water body such as the Baltic Sea, a decrease in salinity is predicted due to increased precipitation and freshwater inflow. Moreover, we predict that heavy precipitation events will accentuate salinity fluctuations near shore.
Here, we investigated how the immune function of the broad-nosed pipefish (Syngnathus typhle), an ecologically important teleost with sex-role reversal, is influenced by experimentally altered salinities (control: 18 PSU, lowered: 6 PSU, increased: 30 PSU) upon infection with bacteria of the genus Vibrio.

Salinity changes resulted in increased activity and proliferation of immune cells. However, upon Vibrio infection, individuals at low salinity were unable to mount specific immune response components, both in terms of monocyte and lymphocyte cell proliferation and immune gene expression compared to pipefish kept at ambient salinities. We interpret this as resource allocation trade-off, implying that resources needed for osmoregulation under salinity stress are lacking for subsequent activation of the immune defence upon infection.

Our data suggest that composition of small coastal fish communities may change due to elevated environmental stress levels and the incorporated consequences thereof.
Highlights:
► We investigated immune function in a coastal fish under a global change scenario. ► Effects of salinity variation on immune cells and immune gene expression were studied. ► Individuals in low salinity delayed the activation the specific immune response. ► Salinity change can result in more time for bacterial replication and a more virulent infection. ► Possibly, resources for osmoregulation under salinity stress are lacking for immune responses.

Document Type: Article
Additional Information: WOS:000311015300002
Keywords: Host–parasite interaction; Baltic Sea; Vibrio; Syngnathus typhle; Environment; RECENT CLIMATE-CHANGE; BALTIC SEA; DISEASE RISKS; TRADE-OFFS; RESPONSES; TEMPERATURE; ADAPTATION; PARAMETERS; SYSTEM; SUSCEPTIBILITY
Research affiliation: OceanRep > GEOMAR > FB3 Marine Ecology > FB3-EV Evolutionary Ecology of Marine Fishes
OceanRep > The Future Ocean - Cluster of Excellence
Refereed: Yes
DOI etc.: 10.1016/j.fsi.2012.08.028
ISSN: 1050-4648
Projects: Future Ocean
Date Deposited: 22 Nov 2012 13:42
Last Modified: 05 Jan 2017 13:24
URI: http://eprints.uni-kiel.de/id/eprint/19258

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