Fish comprise by far the largest group of vertebrates with 34,300 described species. The immune systems of fish exhibit great diversity, enabling them to defend themselves against pathogens in the aquatic environment. Mucosal barriers are an important first line of defence, and phagocytic cells of the innate immune system engulf and degrade pathogens by various mechanisms. Cellular and humoral responses of the adaptive immune system are initiated by presentation of antigens through major histocompatibility complex (MHC) class I or II (T cell activation) or by direct antigen recognition (B cell activation). The germline-encoded pattern-recognition receptors (PRRs) of the host’s immune cells recognise the molecular structures of the invading microbes, triggering intracellular signalling and ensure tailored immune responses.
Knowledge of mucosal immunity in fish has just started to emerge, and there is huge variation in the main classes of PRRs (TLRs, RLRs,NLRs and CDSs), downstream signaling and cytokines among different species. In addition, how some species, belonging to Gadiformes and Sygnatiformes, can survive without major histocompatibility complex (MHC) class II and key molecules of the endocytic pathway remains an enigma. Another question of interest is the evolution of immunoglobulin-based adaptive immunity.
Research of fish immunity is not only important for fish species. Ground-breaking findings in fish have also provided novel insight into mammalian species, e.g., phagocytic B cells. The aim of this special issue is to advance our understanding of the astonishing diversity of immunological components and processes across fish lineages.
These will include, but not be limited to:
- Host-pathogen interaction
- Innate immune responses and intracellular cell signalling
- Functional analyses of key immune molecules and processes
- Antigen processing and presentation
- T cell activation
- Characterisation of immune cells
- Mucosal immunology
- Genomic, transcriptomic and immunomic studies
- Comparative and evolutionary studies
- Submission deadline (for full papers): 31 December 2021
- Peer review: October 2021 to March 2022
- Author revisions due: January to May 2022
- Publication date: August 2022
Manuscripts will be reviewed and published on a first-come, first-served basis. Once all accepted manuscripts are published, they will be gathered together in this special issue.