Effect of cortisol on the immune-like response of rainbow trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss) myotubes challenged with Piscirickettsia salmonis

Victoria Carrizo, Cristián A. Valenzuela, Rodrigo Zuloaga, Camila Aros, Claudia Altamirano, Juan A. Valdés, Alfredo Molina

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Citations (Scopus)


Salmonids are a species of high commercial value in Chilean aquaculture, where muscle is the final product of the industry. Fish can be affected by stress during intensive cultures, increasing susceptibility to infections. Recently, we reported that muscle is an important focus of immune reactions. However, studies have shown the immunosuppressive effect of stress only in lymphoid organs, and few studies have been conducted on muscle and immunity. Hence, we determine the effects of cortisol on the immune-like response of fish myotubes challenged with Piscirickettsia salmonis by three trials. First, rainbow trout primary culture of muscle was cultured and treated with cortisol (100 ng/mL) for 3 and 4 h. Second, myotubes were challenged with P. salmonis (MOI 50) for 4, 6 and 8 h. And third, muscle cell cultures were pretreated with cortisol and then challenged with P. salmonis. The mRNA levels of glucocorticoid pathway and innate immunity were evaluated by qPCR. Cortisol increased the klf15 levels and downregulated the innate immune-related tlr5m gene and antimicrobial peptides. P. salmonis challenge upregulated several immune-related genes. Finally, cortisol pretreatment followed by P. salmonis challenge differentially modulated stress- and immune-related genes. These data suggest that fish muscle cells possess an intrinsic immune response and are differentially regulated by cortisol, which could lead to bacterial outbreaks in muscle under stress conditions.

Original languageEnglish
Article number110240
JournalVeterinary Immunology and Immunopathology
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2021


  • Cortisol
  • Immune response
  • Muscle cells
  • Piscirickettsia salmonis
  • Stress response

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology
  • General Veterinary


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