Transcriptome profiling in head kidney of rainbow trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss) after infection with the low-virulent Nagano genotype of infectious hematopoietic necrosis virus


Infectious hematopoietic necrosis virus (IHNV) causes clinical diseases and mortality in a wide variety of salmonid species. Here, we studied transcriptional responses in rainbow trout infected by the IHNV-Nagano strain isolated in Korea. RNA-seq-based transcriptome analysis of head kidney tissues cataloged differentially expressed genes. Enrichment analysis of gene ontology annotations was performed, and a total of fifteen biological process terms were commonly identified at all time points. In the Kyoto Encyclopedia of Genes and Genomes pathway analysis, pathogen recognition receptor (PRR) signaling pathways such as the retinoic-acid-inducible gene-I-like receptor signaling pathway and the Toll-like receptor signaling pathway were identified at all time points. The nucleotide-binding oligomerization-domain-like receptor signaling pathway and cytosolic DNA-sensing pathway were identified at days 1 and 3. Protein-protein interaction network and centrality analyses revealed that the immune system, signaling molecules, and interaction pathways were upregulated at days 1 and 3, with the highest centrality of tumor necrosis factor. Cancer, cellular community, and endocrine system pathways were downregulated, with the highest centrality of fibronectin 1 at day 5. STAT1 was upregulated from days 1 to 5 with a high centrality. The reproducibility and repeatability of the transcriptome analysis were validated by RT-qPCR. IHNV-Nagano infection dynamically changed the transcriptome profiles in the head kidney of rainbow trout and induced a defense mechanism by regulating the immune and inflammatory pathways through PRR signaling at an early stage. Downregulated pathways involved in extracellular matrix formation and focal adhesion at day 5 indicated the possible failure of wound healing, which is important in the pathogenesis of IHNV infection.

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This work was supported by a grant from the National Institute of Fisheries Science in the Republic of Korea (R2020057).


This study was funded by a grant from the National Institute of Fisheries Science in the Republic of Korea (R2020057).

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Correspondence to Suhee Hong.

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Jinwoo Kim declares that he has no conflict of interest. Miyoung Cho declares that she has no conflict of interest. Kwang Il Kim declares that he has no conflict of interest. Eun Young Min declares that she has no conflict of interest. Jongwon Lim declares that he has no conflict of interest. Suhee Hong declares that she has no conflict of interest.

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All fish handling and experimental procedures were approved by the Institutional Animal Care Use Committee of Gangneung-Wonju National University (GWNU-2019-18) and all experiments were performed in accordance with relevant guidelines and regulations.

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Kim, J., Cho, M., Kim, K.I. et al. Transcriptome profiling in head kidney of rainbow trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss) after infection with the low-virulent Nagano genotype of infectious hematopoietic necrosis virus. Arch Virol 166, 1057–1070 (2021).

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