Investigation of humoral immune factors from selected groups of southern bluefin tuna, Thunnus maccoyii (Castelnau): implications for aquaculture
Watts, M and Munday, BL and Burke, CM, Investigation of humoral immune factors from selected groups of southern bluefin tuna, Thunnus maccoyii (Castelnau): implications for aquaculture, Journal of Fish Diseases, 25 pp. 191-200. ISSN 0140-7775 (2002) [Refereed Article]
Serum immunoglobulin, lysozyme and classical and alternative complement activity were analysed in different groups of wild and captive southern bluefin tuna (SBT), Thunnus maccoyii (Castelnau), from ambient water temperatures of 12 ± 1 and 20 ± 1°C. Groups held captive for the longest time were found to have the highest levels of these humoral immune mediators, despite a drop in ambient temperature from 20 ± 1 to 12 ± 1°C during the captivity period. Therefore, it may be that the immune response in these endothermic fish is not inhibited by low temperature to the extent seen in poikilothermic fish. Also, length of time in captivity appears to be associated with increased antigen exposure to maintain high levels of humoral immune mediators in these groups. Lysozyme activity was optimal at pH 5.8 and 6.2, suggesting that two isoforms, with different pH optima, are present. The SBT serum was found to lyse sheep erythrocytes by both classical and alternative complement pathways. Classical pathway activity occurred in the absence of prior sensitization with antiserum to sheep red blood cells, suggesting that natural antibodies may be present (or lectin or C-reactive protein mediated activation). Complement activity was relatively resistant to freezing at -20°C but heating at between 45 and 50°C for 20 min destroyed all complement activity.