Rag expression identifies B and T cell lymphopoietic tissues during the development of common carp (Cyprinus carpio)

Heidi B.T. Huttenhuis, Mark O. Huising, Talitha Van Der Meulen, Carolien N. Van Oosterhoud, Nuria Alvarez Sánchez, Anja J. Taverne-Thiele, Henri W.J. Stroband, Jan H.W.M. Rombout

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

52 Scopus citations


The generation of lymphoid cells during carp development was studied by analyzing expression of the recombination activating genes (rag) using in situ hybridization and real time quantitative PCR. These data were combined with immunohistochemistry using the mAb's WCL9 (cortical thymocytes) and WCI12 (B cells). Carp rag-1 and rag-2 showed 90 and 89% amino acid identity, respectively, to the corresponding zebrafish sequences. Rag-1 was first expressed in the thymus at 4 days post-fertilization (dpf), while both rag-1+/WCL9+ and rag-1-/WCL9- areas were distinguished from 1 week post-fertilization (wpf), suggesting early cortex/medulla differentiation. From 6 dpf, rag-1+ cells were also present cranio-lateral of the head kidney. From 1 wpf, rag-1/rag-2 was expressed in kidney (together with immunoglobulin heavy chain expression) but not in spleen, while WCI12+ cells appeared 1 week later in both organs, suggesting B cell recombination in kidney but not in spleen. Rag-1 expression exceeded rag-2 levels in thymus and in head- and trunk-kidney of juveniles, but this ratio was reversed in head- and trunk-kidney from approximately 16 wpf onwards. Rag-1/rag-2 expression was detected in thymi of animals over 1-year-old, but in kidney only at low levels, indicating life-long new formation of putative T cells but severely reduced formation of B cells in older fish.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1033-1047
Number of pages15
JournalDevelopmental and Comparative Immunology
Issue number12
StatePublished - 2005
Externally publishedYes


  • Aging
  • B cells
  • Carp
  • Cortex
  • Ontogeny
  • Rag
  • T cells
  • Thymus

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology
  • Developmental Biology


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