Nodavirus Colonizes and Replicates in the Testis of Gilthead Seabream and European Sea Bass Modulating Its Immune and Reproductive Functions
Journal article, Peer reviewed
MetadataShow full item record
Original versionValero Y, Arizcun M, Esteban MÁ, Bandín I, Olveira JG, Patel S, et al. (2015) Nodavirus Colonizes and Replicates in the Testis of Gilthead Seabream and European Sea Bass Modulating Its Immune and Reproductive Functions. PLoS ONE 10 (12): e0145131. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0145131 10.1371/journal.pone.0145131
Viruses are threatening pathogens for fish aquaculture. Some of them are transmitted through gonad fluids or gametes as occurs with nervous necrosis virus (NNV). In order to be transmitted through the gonad, the virus should colonize and replicate inside some cell types of this tissue and avoid the subsequent immune response locally. However, whether NNV colonizes the gonad, the cell types that are infected, and how the immune response in the gonad is regulated has never been studied. We have demonstrated for the first time the presence and localization of NNV into the testis after an experimental infection in the European sea bass (Dicentrarchus labrax), and in the gilthead seabream (Sparus aurata), a very susceptible and an asymptomatic host fish species, respectively. Thus, we localized in the testis viral RNA in both species using in situ PCR and viral proteins in gilthead seabream by immunohistochemistry, suggesting that males might also transmit the virus. In addition, we were able to isolate infective particles from the testis of both species demonstrating that NNV colonizes and replicates into the testis of both species. Blood contamination of the tissues sampled was discarded by completely fish bleeding, furthermore the in situ PCR and immunocytochemistry techniques never showed staining in blood vessels or cells. Moreover, we also determined how the immune and reproductive functions are affected comparing the effects in the testis with those found in the brain, the main target tissue of the virus. Interestingly, NNV triggered the immune response in the European sea bass but not in the gilthead seabream testis. Regarding reproductive functions, NNV infection alters 17β-estradiol and 11-ketotestosterone production and the potential sensitivity of brain and testis to these hormones, whereas there is no disruption of testicular functions according to several reproductive parameters. Moreover, we have also studied the NNV infection of the testis in vitro to assess local responses. Our in vitro results show that the changes observed on the expression of immune and reproductive genes in the testis of both species are different to those observed upon in vivo infections in most of the cases.