Excretory/secretory (ES) products are molecules produced by parasitic nematodes, including larval Anisakis simplex, a parasite occurring in numerous marine fish hosts. The effects of these substances on host physiology have not been fully described. The present work elucidates the influence of ES substances on the fish immune system by measuring immune gene expression in spleen and liver of rainbow trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss) injected intraperitoneally with ES products isolated from A. simplex third stage larvae. The overall gene expression profile of exposed fish showed a generalized down-regulation of the immune genes tested, suggesting a role of ES proteins in immunomodulation. We also tested the enzymatic activity of the ES proteins and found that lipase, esterase/lipase, valine and cysteine arylamidases, naphthol-AS-BI-phosphohydrolase and a-galactosidase activities were present in the ES solution. This type of hydrolytic enzyme activity may play a role in nematode penetration of host tissue. In addition, based on the notion that A. simplex ES products may have an immune-depressive effect (by minimizing immune gene expression) it could also be suggested that worm enzymes directly target host immune molecules which would add to a decreased host immune response and increased worm survival.
Fish and Shellfish Immunology, 2013, Vol 35, Issue 3, p. 734-739