The effects of elevated temperature and stress on immune function in juvenile chinook salmon (Oncorhynchus tshawytscha) Public Deposited

http://ir.library.oregonstate.edu/concern/graduate_thesis_or_dissertations/zc77st57g

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  • Stress, including extreme or rapidly changing temperatures, are known to have deleterious effects on fish health and physiology. This thesis examines the combined effects of elevated acclimation temperature and acute handling stress on the number of antibody producing cells, plasma lysozyme concentrations, and the number of pronephric leukocytes in juvenile chinook salmon (Oncorhynchus tshawytscha). An additional goal of this thesis was to explore the effects of a temperature fluctuation, as a potential instigator of thermal shock, on innate immunity in wild fall chinook salmon of the Columbia River, specifically to determine if there are effects on plasma lysozyme concentrations and on the frequencies of lymphocytes, neutrophils, and thrombocytes in circulation. Finally, based on results found in an experiment involving elevated acclimation temperature, the relationship between the number of antibody producing cells and fish body weight was examined. Plasma lysozyme concentrations and the number of pronephric leukocytes were both affected by acclimation to 21°C compared to 13°C. While a positive relationship was found between temperature and lysozyme, an inverse relationship was found between temperature and the number of pronephric leukocytes. Plasma lysozyme concentrations, the number of pronephric leukocytes, and the number of antibody producing cells did not respond to the stressor, and the combination of elevated temperature and stress did not have an additive effect on any of the physiological or immunological variables studied. Differences between controls and temperature-treated fish were not detected among individual time points throughout a temperature fluctuation experiment, despite overall responses in plasma lysozyme concentrations and the frequencies of circulating lymphocytes. The frequencies of circulating neutrophils and thrombocytes did not respond to the thermal stressor. Finally, a significant positive relationship was detected between the number of antibody producing cells (assessed by a hemolytic plaque assay) and body weight among non-stressed fish acclimated to 21°C and 13°C. Regardless of acclimation temperature, these results emphasize the importance of the standardization of fish size for immunological experiments. Results from this thesis suggest that some components of innate immunity are affected by elevated acclimation temperatures and that the adaptive immune system is affected by acclimation temperature differently in small and large fish.
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