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    Cantharidin is a toxic vesicant terpene used in folk and traditional medicine due to its various therapeutic effects. Since there are no previous data on the effect of cantharidin in fish, this study aimed to investigate the in vitro related-inflammatory effects of cantharidin in gilthead seabream (Sparus aurata L.) head-kidney leucocytes (HKLs). In the first experiment, the HKLs were incubated with 0, 5 and 10 μg mL-1 of cantharidin for 24 h to delimit its possible toxic effects. In a second experiment, leucocytes were incubated with ranging concentrations from 0 to 10 μg mL-1 for 3, 6, or 12 h. Cell viability was higher in acidophilic granulocytes than in monocytes/macrophages and lymphocytes. Cantharidin caused apoptosis as was evidenced by transmission electron microscopy. In addition, cantharidin produced a time- and dose-dependent decrease of respiratory burst and phagocytic activities in HKLs, while their peroxidase activity was increased at 24 h of incubation with 5 and 10 μg mL-1 of cantharidin. Different changes in the gene expression were observed after incubation with cantharidin. While the gene expression of tnfa, il1b and crel was up-regulated in HKLs, the nfkb1 and igmh genes were down-regulated in comparison to the expression found in control HKLs. Present results offer a first view of the possible effects and action mechanisms of cantharidin in HKLs, as well as its implication in the inflammatory process, which could be of interest not only for basic research but also in the aquaculture sector. Copyright © 2022 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Ltd.. All rights reserved.


    José Carlos Campos-Sánchez, Francisco A Guardiola, María Ángeles Esteban. In vitro effects of cantharidin on gilthead seabream (Sparus aurata) head-kidney leucocytes. Fish & shellfish immunology. 2022 Apr;123:20-35

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    PMID: 35218974

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