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Biology 2015, 4(4), 607-639; doi:10.3390/biology4040607

Antimicrobial Peptides as Mediators of Innate Immunity in Teleosts

Department of Biology, University of Waterloo, 200 University Ave West, Waterloo, ON N2L 3G1, Canada
Academic Editor: Brian Dixon
Received: 31 August 2015 / Revised: 16 September 2015 / Accepted: 17 September 2015 / Published: 25 September 2015
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Current Understanding of Fish Immune Systems)
View Full-Text   |   Download PDF [699 KB, uploaded 25 September 2015]


Antimicrobial peptides (AMPs) have been identified throughout the metazoa suggesting their evolutionarily conserved nature and their presence in teleosts is no exception. AMPs are short (18–46 amino acids), usually cationic, amphipathic peptides. While AMPs are diverse in amino acid sequence, with no two AMPs being identical, they collectively appear to have conserved functions in the innate immunity of animals towards the pathogens they encounter in their environment. Fish AMPs are upregulated in response to pathogens and appear to have direct broad-spectrum antimicrobial activity towards both human and fish pathogens. However, an emerging role for AMPs as immunomodulatory molecules has become apparent—the ability of AMPs to activate the innate immune system sheds light onto the multifaceted capacity of these small peptides to combat pathogens through direct and indirect means. Herein, this review focuses on the role of teleost AMPs as modulators of the innate immune system and their regulation in response to pathogens or other exogenous molecules. The capacity to regulate AMP expression by exogenous factors may prove useful in modulating AMP expression in fish to prevent disease, particularly in aquaculture settings where crowded conditions and environmental stress pre-dispose these fish to infection. View Full-Text
Keywords: antimicrobial peptides; innate immunity; teleosts; fish; aquaculture; piscidins; defensins; hepcidins; cathelicidins; NF-kB antimicrobial peptides; innate immunity; teleosts; fish; aquaculture; piscidins; defensins; hepcidins; cathelicidins; NF-kB
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. (CC BY 4.0).

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Katzenback, B.A. Antimicrobial Peptides as Mediators of Innate Immunity in Teleosts. Biology 2015, 4, 607-639.

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