Identification of Langerhans-like cells in the immunocompetent tissues of channel catfish, Ictalurus punctatus

Adef O. Kordon, Matthew A. Scott, Iman Ibrahim, Hossam Abdelhamed, Hamada Ahmed, Wes Baumgartner, Attila Karsi, Lesya M. Pinchuk

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Dendritic cells (DCs) are the most powerful antigen presenting cells (APCs) that have a critical role in bridging innate and adaptive immune responses in vertebrates. Dendritic cells have been characterized morphologically and functionally in the teleost fish models such as rainbow trout, salmonids, medaka, and zebrafish. The presence of DCs with remarkable similarities to human Langerhans cells (LCs) has been described in the spleen and anterior kidney of salmonids and rainbow trout. However, there is no evidence of the presence of DCs and their role in channel catfish immunity. In this study, we assessed DC-like cells in the immunocompetent tissues of channel catfish by immunohistochemistry (IHC), flow cytometry and transmission electron microscopy (TEM). We identified Langerin/CD207+ (L/CD207+) cells in the channel catfish anterior kidney, spleen and gill by IHC. Moreover, we described the cells that resembled mammal LC DCs containing Birbeck-like (BL) granules in channel catfish spleen, anterior and posterior kidneys and gill by TEM. Our data suggest that cells with DC-like morphology in the immune related organs of catfish may share morphological and functional properties with previously reported DCs in teleost fish and mammals. More detailed knowledge of the phenotype and the function of catfish DCs will not only help gain insight into the evolution of the vertebrate adaptive immune system but will also provide valuable information for development and optimization of immunotherapies and vaccination protocols for aquaculture use.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)253-258
Number of pages6
JournalFish and Shellfish Immunology
StatePublished - Nov 1 2016
Externally publishedYes


  • Birbeck granules
  • Channel catfish
  • Dendritic cells
  • Langerhans cells

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology
  • Environmental Chemistry
  • Aquatic Science
  • Immunology and Microbiology (miscellaneous)


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