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In Frontiers in immunology ; h5-index 100.0

Ichthyophthirius multifiliis is a major pathogen that causes a high mortality rate in trout farms. However, systemic responses to the pathogen and its interactions with multiple organs during the course of infection have not been well described. In this study, dual-organ transcriptomic responses in the liver and head kidney and hemato-serological indexes were profiled under I. multifiliis infection and recovery to investigate systemic immuno-physiological characteristics. Several strategies for massive transcriptomic interpretation, such as differentially expressed genes (DEGs), Poisson linear discriminant (PLDA), and weighted gene co-expression network analysis (WGCNA) models were used to investigate the featured genes/pathways while minimizing the disadvantages of individual methods. During the course of infection, 6,097 and 2,931 DEGs were identified in the head kidney and liver, respectively. Markers of protein processing in the endoplasmic reticulum, oxidative phosphorylation, and the proteasome were highly expressed. Likewise, simultaneous ferroptosis and cellular reconstruction was observed, which is strongly linked to multiple organ dysfunction. In contrast, pathways relevant to cellular replication were up-regulated in only the head kidney, while endocytosis- and phagosome-related pathways were notably expressed in the liver. Moreover, interestingly, most immune-relevant pathways (e.g., leukocyte trans-endothelial migration, Fc gamma R-mediated phagocytosis) were highly activated in the liver, but the same pathways in the head kidney were down-regulated. These conflicting results from different organs suggest that interpretation of co-expression among organs is crucial for profiling of systemic responses during infection. The dual-organ transcriptomics approaches presented in this study will greatly contribute to our understanding of multi-organ interactions under I. multifiliis infection from a broader perspective.

Roh HyeongJin, Kim Nameun, Lee Yoonhang, Park Jiyeon, Kim Bo Seong, Lee Mu Kun, Park Chan-Il, Kim Do-Hyung


Ichthyophthirius multifiliis, dual-organ RNA-seq, machine learning, weighted gene co-expression network analysis, white spot disease