The present study was conducted to investigate the effect of beta-glucan (derived from Saccharomyces cerevisiae) on the immune response and its protection against an infection of the bacterial pathogen Aeromonas hydrophila in zebrafish (Danio rerio). Zebrafish received beta-glucan by intraperitoneal injection at three different concentrations (5, 2 and 0.5 mgml(-1)) at 6, 4 and 2 days prior the challenge. On challenge day the control and beta-glucan pretreated zebrafish were intraperitoneally injected with A. hydrophila and mortality was recorded for 4 days. Intraperitoneal injection of 5 mgml(-1) of beta-glucan significantly reduced the mortality. A single injection of 5 mgml(-1) of beta-glucan 6 days before challenge also enhanced significantly the survival against the infection. The treatment with beta-glucan increased the myelomonocytic cell population in the kidney at 6h postchallenge with A. hydrophila. Moreover it enhanced the ability of kidney cells to kill A. hydrophila. beta-glucan did not affect the expression of TNFalpha or IL-1 beta but seemed to modulate IFNgamma and chemokine expression in kidney.
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