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To test the immunocompetence of isogenic families of rainbow trout by measuring their ability to accept or reject skin grafts.


3 families of isogenic rainbow trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss), produced by mating homozygous females and homozygous males, plus 4 Chinook salmon (O tshawytscha) were used in these experiments.


Grafts (allografts, members of the same family; autografts, donor and recipient were the same fish; and xenografts, O tshawytscha as donor) were exchanged. Grafts were applied on day 0 and removed on day 21, placed in neutral-buffered formalin, and embedded in paraffin. Lymphocytes and nuclei were counted in representative stained sections in the epidermis, dermis, and hypodermis. Results were analyzed by univariate analysis, using the Shapiro-Wilk statistic.


Autografts were retained and minimal histologic changes were apparent. Allografts were histologically similar to autografts. Xenografts were rejected.


Results indicate that the immune system of isogenic rainbow trout is unable to distinguish between family members within isogenic families, but that a vigorous response is mounted against Chinook salmon xenografts. The isogenic rainbow trout are immunocompetent with respect to the phenomenon of graft rejection. (Am J Vet Res 1996;57:1576–1579)

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in American Journal of Veterinary Research