CK11, a Teleost Chemokine with a Potent Antimicrobial Activity. The Jounal of Immunology. 10.4049/jimmunol.1800568
CK11 is a rainbow trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss) CC chemokine phylogenetically related to both mammalian CCL27 and CCL28 chemokines, strongly transcribed in skin and gills in homeostasis, for which an immune role had not been reported to date. In the current study, we have demonstrated that CK11 is not chemotactic for unstimulated leukocyte populations from central immune organs or mucosal tissues but instead exerts a potent antimicrobial activity against a wide range of rainbow trout pathogens. Our results show that CK11 strongly inhibits the growth of different rainbow trout Gram-positive and Gram-negative bacteria, namely Lactococcus garvieae, Aeromonas salmonicida subsp. salmonicida, and Yersinia ruckeriand a parasitic ciliate Ichthyophthirius multifiliis. Similarly to mammalian chemokines and antimicrobial peptides, CK11 exerted its antimicrobial activity, rapidly inducing membrane permeability in the target pathogens. Further transcriptional studies confirmed the regulation of CK11 transcription in response to exposure to some of these pathogens in specific conditions. Altogether, our studies related to phylogenetic relations, tissue distribution, and biological activity point to CK11 as a potential common ancestor of mammalian CCL27 and CCL28. To our knowledge, this study constitutes the first report of a fish chemokine with antimicrobial activity, thus establishing a novel role for teleost chemokines in antimicrobial immunity that supports an evolutionary relationship between chemokines and antimicrobial peptides.