Apoptosis-associated speck-like protein containing a caspase-recruitment domain (ASC) is a component of inflammasome, which plays crucial roles in the inflammatory response. In mammals, ASC regulates caspase-1 activation, thereby inducing pyroptosis and producing activated inflammatory cytokines. In addition, ASC also interacts with receptor-interacting protein kinase 2 (RIPK2) and induces nuclear factor-κB (NF-κB) activation. However, the role of ASC remains poorly understood in fish. In this study, we focused on elucidating the role of ASC in fish that were infected with Aeromonas hydrophila using Japanese medaka (Oryzias latipes) as fish model, and ASC-knockout (KO) medaka was established using CRISPR-Cas9 system. ASC-KO and wild type (WT) medakas were infected with A. hydrophila, and mortality was observed. ASC-KO medaka demonstrated higher mortality than WT. Moreover, the expression of immune-related genes in the kidney and intestine of the ASC-KO and WT medakas challenged with A. hydrophila were analyzed. Following A. hydrophila infection, the kidney of ASC-KO medaka exhibited significantly lower expression of NF-κB regulated genes (e.g., IL-1β, IL-6, IL-8 and TNF-α) and RIPK2 gene than in WT kidney. Moreover, to investigate the immune response against A. hydrophila via ASC in the medaka, bacterial burden, superoxide anion production, and lactate dehydrogenase release in the kidney cells of ASC-KO medaka were measured. After infection, these responses in ASC-KO medaka were significantly decreased compared to those in WT. These results suggest that the medaka ASC plays a critical role against A. hydrophila infection by inducing inflammatory responses and cell death for bacterial clearance.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Environmental Chemistry
- Aquatic Science