Zoological Studies

Vol. 54, 2015

Anatomic and molecular characterization of the endocrine pancreas of a teleostean fish: Atlantic wolffish (Anarhichas lupus)

Jessica S Fortin1*, Ariane Santamaria-Bouvier2, Stéphane Lair2, André D Dallaire1 and Marie-Odile Benoit-Biancamano1*

1Département de pathologie et de microbiologie, Faculté de médecine vétérinaire, Université de Montréal, 3200 Sicotte, Saint-Hyacinthe, QC J2S
2M2, Canada. 2Département des sciences cliniques, Faculté de médecine vétérinaire, Université de Montréal, 3200 Sicotte, Saint-Hyacinthe, QC J2S 2M2, Canada

Background: The biologic attributes of the endocrine pancreas and the comparative endocrinology of islet amyloid polypeptide (IAPP) of fish are not well described in the literature. This study describes the endocrine pancreas of one teleostean fish. Ten captive Atlantic wolffish (Anarhichas lupus) from the Montreal Biodome were submitted for necropsy and their pancreata were collected.
Results: Grossly, all the fish pancreata examined contained 1-3 nodules of variable diameter (1-8 mm). Microscopically, the nodules were uniform, highly cellular, and composed of polygonal to elongated cells. Immunofluorescence for pancreatic hormones was performed. The nodules were immunoreactive for insulin most prominent centrally, but with IAPP and glucagon only in the periphery of the nodules. Exocrine pancreas was positive for chromogranin A. Not previously recognized in fish, IAPP immunoreactivity occurred in α, glucagon-containing, cells and did not co-localize with insulin in β cells. The islet tissues were devoid of amyloid deposits. IAPP DNA sequencing was performed to compare the sequence among teleost fish and the potency to form amyloid fibrils. In silico analysis of the amino acid sequences 19-34 revealed that it was not amyloidogenic.
Conclusions: Amyloidosis of pancreatic islets would not be expected as a spontaneous disease in the Atlantic wolffish. Our study underlines that this teleost fish is a potential candidate for pancreatic xenograft research.

Key words: Beta cells; Endocrine pancreas; Glucagon; Insulin; Islet amyloid polypeptide (IAPP); Teleost fish.

*Correspondence: E-mail: Jessica.fortin.2@umontreal.ca; marie-odile.benoit-biancamano@umontreal.ca