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Clinical and Developmental Immunology
Volume 2013, Article ID 536534, 9 pages
Review Article

Influence of the Cholinergic System on the Immune Response of Teleost Fishes: Potential Model in Biomedical Research

1Universidad Autónoma de Nayarit (UAN), Secretaría de Investigación y Posgrado, Laboratorio de Inmunotoxicología, Boulevard Tepic-Xalisco s/n, Cd de la Cultura Amado Nervo, 63190 Tepic, Nayarit, Mexico
2Departamento de Ciencias Ambientales, Instituto de Neurociencias, Centro Universitario de Ciencias Biológicas y Agropecuarias (CUCBA), Universidad de Guadalajara (UdeG), Francisco de Quevedo 180, Col. Arcos Vallarta, 45100 Guadalajara, Jal, Mexico
3Departamento de Investigación Básica, Instituto Nacional de Geriatría (INGER), Periférico Sur No. 2767, Col. San Jerónimo Lídice, Del. Magdalena Contreras, 10200 México, DF, Mexico

Received 26 July 2013; Revised 24 September 2013; Accepted 26 September 2013

Academic Editor: Marco Antonio Velasco-Velázquez

Copyright © 2013 G. A. Toledo-Ibarra et al. 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.


Fishes are the phylogenetically oldest vertebrate group, which includes more than one-half of the vertebrates on the planet; additionally, many species have ecological and economic importance. Fish are the first evolved group of organisms with adaptive immune mechanisms; consequently, they are an important link in the evolution of the immune system, thus a potential model for understanding the mechanisms of immunoregulation. Currently, the influence of the neurotransmitter acetylcholine (ACh) on the cells of the immune system is widely studied in mammalian models, which have provided evidence on ACh production by immune cells (the noncholinergic neuronal system); however, these neuroimmunomodulation mechanisms in fish and lower vertebrates are poorly studied. Therefore, the objective of this review paper was to analyze the influence of the cholinergic system on the immune response of teleost fish, which could provide information concerning the possibility of bidirectional communication between the nervous and immune systems in these organisms and provide data for a better understanding of basic issues in neuroimmunology in lower vertebrates, such as bony fishes. Thus, the use of fish as a model in biomedical research may contribute to a better understanding of human diseases and diseases in other animals.