Cell and Tissue Research

, 346:111 | Cite as

Ontogeny and disease responses of Langerhans-like cells in lymphoid tissues of salmonid fish

  • Jan Lovy
  • Gayle P. Savidant
  • Glenda M. Wright
Short Communication


The ontogeny and disease responses of Langerhans-like cells within lymphoid tissues of Atlantic salmon, Salmo salar, and rainbow trout, Oncorhynchus mykiss, were investigated. These cells were studied in situ with the use of two markers: the ultrastructural presence of Birbeck-like granules and immunohistochemistry with an antibody against human langerin/CD207 that cross-reacts with salmonid tissues. The appearance of Birbeck-like granules was observed in rainbow trout at 2 weeks post-hatch (PH) in the thymus and anterior kidney prior to the development of the spleen. Spleen first appeared at 3 weeks PH in both Atlantic salmon and rainbow trout, and Birbeck-like granules were observed within cells of the newly developed spleens. The cross-reactivity of langerin as seen by immunohistochemistry was not clearly observed in kidney and spleen until 9 weeks PH, when a strong cytoplasmic reaction was observed. To study langerin-positive cells in spleen and kidney during disease, microsporidial gill disease (MGD) in rainbow trout was used as a known disease model inducing a strong cell-mediated adaptive immune response. Langerin-positive cells in healthy fish were seen predominantly in the spleen, and only low numbers were present in the anterior kidney. During MGD, langerin-positive cell numbers were elevated in the anterior kidney and were significantly higher during 5, 6, and 10 weeks post-exposure (PE) compared with healthy control tissue. During MGD, the distribution of langerin-positive cells in the spleen and anterior kidney shifted from having significantly higher numbers of cells in the spleen than in the kidney in controls and at 1 and 4 weeks PE to having a similar distribution of the cells in the two organs at 2, 3, 5, and 6 weeks PE. By 10 weeks PE, significantly higher numbers of langerin-positive cells occurred in the anterior kidney compared with the spleen.


Langerin/CD207 Birbeck granules Ontogeny Loma salmonae (Microsporidia) Salmo salar; Oncorhynchus mykiss (Teleostei) 



We are grateful to Dr. David J. Speare for providing tank space and a source of Loma salmonae, to the Cardigan fish hatchery for providing Atlantic salmon, to Dorota Wadowska for assistance in the preparation of samples for transmission electron microscopy, and to Nicole Lewis for assistance with the statistical analysis.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jan Lovy
    • 1
    • 3
  • Gayle P. Savidant
    • 2
  • Glenda M. Wright
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Pathology and Microbiology, Atlantic Veterinary CollegeUniversity of Prince Edward IslandCharlottetownCanada
  2. 2.Department of Biomedical Sciences, Atlantic Veterinary CollegeUniversity of Prince Edward IslandCharlottetownCanada
  3. 3.Pacific Biological StationAquatic Animal Health UnitNanaimoCanada

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