Interleukin-17A/F1 Deficiency Reduces Antimicrobial Gene Expression and Contributes to Microbiome Alterations in Intestines of Japanese medaka (Oryzias latipes)

Yo Okamura, Natsuki Morimoto, Daisuke Ikeda, Nanami Mizusawa, Shugo Watabe, Hiroshi Miyanishi, Yuichi Saeki, Haruko Takeyama, Takashi Aoki, Masato Kinoshita, Tomoya Kono, Masahiro Sakai, Jun Ichi Hikima*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Citations (Scopus)


In mammals, interleukin (IL)-17A and F are hallmark inflammatory cytokines that play key roles in protection against infection and intestinal mucosal immunity. In the gastrointestinal tract (GI), the induction of antimicrobial peptide (AMP) production via Paneth cells is a fundamental role of IL-17A and F in maintaining homeostasis of the GI microbiome and health. Although mammalian IL-17A and F homologs (referred to as IL-17A/F1-3) have been identified in several fish species, their function in the intestine is poorly understood. Additionally, the fish intestine lacks Paneth cells, and its GI structure is very different from that of mammals. Therefore, the GI microbiome modulatory mechanism via IL-17A/F genes has not been fully elucidated. In this study, Japanese medaka (Oryzias latipes) were used as a teleost model, and IL-17A/F1-knockout (IL-17A/F1-KO) medaka were established using the CRISPR/Cas9 genome editing technique. Furthermore, two IL-17A/F1-deficient medaka strains were generated, including one strain containing a 7-bp deletion (-7) and another with an 11-bp addition (+11). After establishing F2 homozygous KO medaka, transcriptome analysis (RNA-seq) was conducted to elucidate IL-17A/F1-dependent gene induction in the intestine. Results of RNA-seq and real-time PCR (qPCR) demonstrated down-regulation of immune-related genes, including interleukin-1β (IL-1β), complement 1q subunit C (C1qc), transferrin a (Tfa), and G-type lysozyme (LyzG), in IL-17A/F1-KO medaka. Interestingly, protein and lipid digestive enzyme genes, including phospholipase A2, group IB (pla2g1b), and elastase-1-like (CELA1), were also downregulated in the intestines of IL-17A/F1-KO medaka. Furthermore, to reveal the influence of these downregulated genes on the gut microbiome in IL-17A/F1-KO, 16S rRNA-based metagenomic sequencing analysis was conducted to analyze the microbiome constitution. Under a non-exposed state, the intestinal microbiome of IL-17A/F1-KO medaka differed at the phylum level from wild-type, with significantly higher levels of Verrucomicrobia and Planctomycetes. Additionally, at the operational taxonomic unit (OTU) level of the human and fish pathogens, the Enterobacteriaceae Plesiomonas shigelloides was the dominant species in IL-17A/F1-KO medaka. These findings suggest that IL-17A/F1 is involved in the maintenance of a healthy gut microbiome.

Original languageEnglish
Article number425
JournalFrontiers in Immunology
Publication statusPublished - 2020 Mar 17


  • Japanese medaka
  • Oryzias latipes
  • genome editing
  • interleukin-17A/F1
  • metagenomics
  • teleosts
  • transcriptome analysis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Immunology


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