Immunomodulatory role of vasoactive intestinal peptide and ghrelin in Oncorhynchus mykiss


Neuropeptides are a group of peptides derived from precursor proteins synthesized in neuronal and nonneuronal cells. The classical functions of neuropeptides have been extensively studied in mammals, including neuromodulation in the central nervous system, molecular signaling in the peripheral nervous system, and immunomodulation associated mainly with anti-inflammatory activity. In contrast, in teleosts, studies of the immunomodulatory function of these neuropeptides are limited. In Oncorhynchus mykiss, vasoactive intestinal peptide (VIP) mRNA sequences have not been cloned, and the role of VIP in modulating the immune system has not been studied. Furthermore, in relation to other neuropeptides with possible immunomodulatory function, such as ghrelin, there are also few studies. Therefore, in this work, we performed molecular cloning, identification, and phylogenetic analysis of three VIP precursor sequences (prepro-VIP1, VIP2 and VIP3) in rainbow trout. In addition, the immunomodulatory function of both neuropeptides was evaluated in an in vitro model using the VIP1 sequence identified in this work and a ghrelin sequence already studied in O. mykiss. The results suggest that the prepro-VIP2 sequence has the lowest percentage of identity with respect to the other homologous sequences and is more closely related to mammalian orthologous sequences. VIP1 induces significant expression of both pro-inflammatory (IFN-γ, IL-1β) and anti-inflammatory (IL-10 and TGF-β) cytokines, whereas ghrelin only induces significant expression of proinflammatory cytokines such as IL-6 and TNF-α.

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