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Developmental Immunology
Volume 5, Issue 4, Pages 263-275

Expression and Temperature-Dependent Regulation of the Beta2-Microglobulin (Cyca-B2m) Gene in a Cold-Blooded Vertebrate, the Common Carp (Cyprinus carpio L.)

1Department of Animal Sciences, Cell Biology and Immunology Group, Wageningen Agricultural University, P.O. Box 338, Wageningen 6700 AH, The Netherlands
2Department of Biology, Dalhousie University, Halifax, Nova Scotia B3H 4J1, Canada

Received 2 June 1996; Accepted 14 May 1997

Copyright © 1998 Hindawi Publishing Corporation. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Expression of beta2-microglobulin (β2m) in the common carp was studied using a polyclonal antibody raised against a recombinant protein obtained from eukaryotic expression of the Cyca-B2m gene. β2m is expressed on peripheral blood Ig+ and Ig- lymphocytes, but not on erythrocytes and thrombocytes. In spleen and pronephros, dull- and bright-positive populations could be identified correlating with the presence of erythrocytes, thrombocytes, and mature leucocytes or immature and mature cells from the lympho-myeloid lineage, respectively. Thymocytes were shown to be comprised of a single bright-positive population. The Cyca-B2m polyclonal antiserum was used in conjunction with a similarly produced polyclonal antiserum to an MHC class I (Cyca-UA) α chain to investigate the expression of class I molecules on peripheral blood leucocytes (PBL) at different permissive temperatures. At 12℃, a temporary downregulation of class I molecules was demonstrated, which recovered to normal levels within 3 days. However, at 6℃, a lasting absence of class I cell-surface expression was observed, which could be restored slowly by transfer to 12C. The expression of immunoglobulin molecules on B cells was unaffected by temperature changes. The absence of the class cell-surface expression was shown to be the result of a lack of sufficient Cyca-B2m gene transcription, although Cyca-UA mRNA was present at comparable levels at all temperatures. This suggests that class I expression is regulated by a temperature-sensitive transcription of the Cyca-B2m gene.