Developing and characterizing a salmonid intestinal epithelial cell line for use in studies of inflammation in the fish gastrointestinal tract
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An intestinal cell line from rainbow trout, Oncorhynchus mykiss, was developed and challenged against several bioactive components. Primary cultures initiated from the distal segment produced the cell line, RTgutGC. RTgutGC showed optimal growth in L15 supplemented with 10-20% fetal bovine serum (FBS) at room temperature. RTgutGC has undergone over 100 passages and stained minimally for β-galactosidase, suggesting this to be an immortal cell line. Late passage cultures gave a consistent polygonal morphology with distinct borders. RTgutGC stained positive for alkaline phosphatase (AP) under certain culture conditions, hence may produce intestinal-specific alkaline phosphatase (IAP). Lipopolysaccharide (LPS) was used as a model microbial endotoxin for determining the sensitivity of the cells to a natural ligand in the gastrointestinal tract (GIT). Exposure of LPS was compared between RTgutGC and two mammalian intestinal cell lines (HT-29 and Caco-2). LPS induced cell death in RTgutGC, potentially through an alternative pathway seen in higher vertebrate response. Cytotoxicity of LPS against RTgutGC, seeded at normal density, was reduced in the presence of glutamine compared to L15 alone (t test, p≤ 0.05). RTgutGC seeded at a super density, where AP was strongly expressed, also showed less toxicity towards LPS. Two isoforms of tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNF-α) transcripts were up-regulated after LPS treatment in RTgutGC. Six rainbow trout cell lines, including RTgutGC, showed constitutive transcript expression of several immune-related genes: Major Histocompatibility (MH) class II α and ß. When MH activity was examined at the protein level, the cell lines showed constitutive expression of MH class I proteins, but not for MH class II molecules. RTS11, a rainbow trout spleen monocyte/ macrophage-like cell line, was the only line to express all MH transcripts and proteins. The utility of the anti-rainbow trout MH protein sera was demonstrated by exposing RTgutGC to poly IC. After a 3 day treatment, RTgutGC showed up-regulation of β2m protein expression. Thus, the cellular and immunological responses in fish intestinal cells can be modeled using the methods presented in this study.