Susceptibility of frogs to chytridiomycosis correlates with increased levels of immunomodulatory serotonin in the skin

Claytor, Sieara C., Gummer, Joel P.A., Grogan, Laura F., Skerratt, Lee F., Webb, Rebecca J., Brannelly, Laura A., Berger, Lee, and Roberts, Alexandra A. (2019) Susceptibility of frogs to chytridiomycosis correlates with increased levels of immunomodulatory serotonin in the skin. Cellular Microbiology, 21 (10). e13089.

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Abstract

Chytridiomycosis, caused by the fungus Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd), is a skin disease responsible for the global decline of amphibians. Frog species and populations can vary in susceptibility, but this phenomenon remains poorly understood. Here, we investigated serotonin in the skin of infected and uninfected frogs. In more susceptible frog populations, skin serotonin rose with increasing infection intensity, but decreased in later stages of the disease. The more resistant population maintained a basal level of skin serotonin. Serotonin inhibited both Bd sporangial growth and Jurkat lymphocyte proliferation in vitro. However, serotonin accumulates in skin granular glands, and this compartmentalisation may prevent inhibition of Bd growth in vivo. We suggest that skin serotonin increases in susceptible frogs due to pathogen excretion of precursor tryptophan, but that resistant frogs are able to control the levels of serotonin. Overall, the immunosuppressive effects of serotonin may contribute to the susceptibility of frogs to chytridiomycosis.

Item ID: 59881
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1462-5822
Copyright Information: © 2019 John Wiley & Sons Ltd
Funders: Queensland Government (QG), Taronga Conservation Society, National Collaborative Research Infrastructure Strategy, Australian Wildlife Society, Wet Tropics Management Authority, Australian Research Council (ARC), IUCN Amphibian Specialist Group, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
Projects and Grants: ARC DP120100811, ARC FT100100375, ARC LP110200240, QG Queensland Accelerate Fellowship, QG Advance Queensland Women's Grant
Date Deposited: 27 Aug 2019 23:27
FoR Codes: 06 BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES > 0605 Microbiology > 060505 Mycology @ 50%
06 BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES > 0601 Biochemistry and Cell Biology > 060104 Cell Metabolism @ 20%
06 BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES > 0608 Zoology > 060804 Animal Immunology @ 30%
SEO Codes: 96 ENVIRONMENT > 9608 Flora, Fauna and Biodiversity > 960805 Flora, Fauna and Biodiversity at Regional or Larger Scales @ 60%
96 ENVIRONMENT > 9604 Control of Pests, Diseases and Exotic Species > 960405 Control of Pests, Diseases and Exotic Species at Regional or Larger Scales @ 40%
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