Osteichthyes: Immune Systems of Teleosts (Actinopterygii)

  • Teruyuki NakanishiEmail author
  • Jun-ichi Hikima
  • Takashi Yada


Teleosts and elasmobranchs are the lowest vertebrates that possess adaptive immunity akin to mammalian ones. However, the fish immune system is different from that of mammals, that is, a lack of bone marrow, lymph nodes and germinal center. Their immune system is also characterized by the fact that their surface is covered by live cells with mucus in direct contact with environmental water and the fact that the immune response is greatly affected by temperature.

In this review we will describe the current understanding of the teleost immune system from a comparative viewpoint. We will also discuss the regulation of immune response by internal and external factors, since fish aquaculture is growing enormously worldwide, and understanding of the immune system is important for the development of immunological control of fish diseases.


Teleost Innate immunity Adaptive immunity Immunoglobulin T-cell receptor MHC Lymphocyte Cytokine Complement Lysozyme Pattern recognition receptors Phagocytosis Immunomodulation Immunosuppression Immune–endocrine interaction 


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Teruyuki Nakanishi
    • 1
    Email author
  • Jun-ichi Hikima
    • 2
  • Takashi Yada
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of Veterinary MedicineCollege of Bioresource Sciences, Nihon UniversityFujisawaJapan
  2. 2.Department of Biochemistry and Applied Biosciences, Faculty of AgricultureUniversity of MiyazakiMiyazakiJapan
  3. 3.Freshwater Fisheries Research Center, National Research Institute of Fisheries ScienceNikkoJapan

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