Heat shock is a routine method used for inducible gene expression in animal models including zebrafish. Environmental temperature plays an important role in the immune system and infection progression of ectotherms. In this study, we analyzed the impact of short-term heat shock on neutrophil function using zebrafish (Danio rerio) as an animal model. Short-term heat shock decreased neutrophil recruitment to localized Streptococcus iniae infection and tail fin wounding. Heat shock also increased random neutrophil motility transiently and increased the number of circulating neutrophils. With the use of the translating ribosome affinity purification (TRAP) method for RNA isolation from specific cell types such as neutrophils, macrophages and epithelial cells, we found that heat shock induced the immediate expression of heat shock protein 70 (hsp70) and a prolonged expression of heat shock protein 27 (hsp27). Heat shock also induced cell stress as detected by the splicing of X-box binding protein 1 (xbp1) mRNA, a marker for endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress. Exogenous expression of Hsp70, Hsp27 and spliced Xbp1 in neutrophils or epithelial cells did not reproduce the heat shock induced effects on neutrophil recruitment. The effect of heat shock on neutrophils is likely due to a combination of complex changes, including, but not limited to changes in gene expression. Our results indicate that routine heat shock can alter neutrophil function in zebrafish. The findings suggest that caution should be taken when employing a heat shock-dependent inducible system to study the innate immune response. © 2013 Lam et al.
Lam, P. Y., Harvie, E. A., & Huttenlocher, A. (2013). Heat shock modulates neutrophil motility in zebrafish. PLoS ONE, 8(12). https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0084436