Cellular and molecular studies of the immune system of sea bass (Dicentrarchus labrax L.)
The sea bass (Dicentrarchus labrax L.) is a teleost fish species that is abundant in the wild and widely farmed in aquaculture, and represent the animal model employed in this thesis. The importance of sea bass as experimental model has been recognised from the many studies that investigated its biology in farming conditions. However, these studies were mostly concentrated in describing optimisation of farming conditions. Knowledge of the immune system was meagre and regarded principally non-specific defence mechanisms. The aim of this thesis has been to study some evolutive mechanisms that originated the complex biology of living vertebrate species using as a model a marine bony fish. In this respect, the immune system of sea bass has been studied in a more comprehensive view using cellular and molecular tools which are available only for the investigated species. Main topics of studies have been the investigation of acquired responses against antigens driven by lymphocytes, the morpho-functional characterisation and purification of lymphocytes, the molecular cloning of molecules involved in cellular recognition (T-cell receptor) and humoral signalling (Interleukin-1), the investigation of biological activities of the recombinant cytokine. Moreover, new protocols and technological products have been designed and used during the preparation of experimental design, and cloned sequences and molecular structures have been submitted and deposited in databases.