Viral susceptibility, transfection and growth of SPB – a fish neural progenitor cell line from the brain of snubnose pompano, Trachinotus blochii (Lacépède)


Correspondence C-M Wen, Department of Life Sciences, National University of Kaohsiung, No. 700, Kaohsiung University Road, Nan-Tzu District, Kaohsiung 81148, Taiwan (e-mail:


This study investigates the susceptibilities of the SPB cell line to fish viruses including giant seaperch iridovirus (GSIV-K1), red sea bream iridovirus (RSIV-Ku), grouper nervous necrosis virus (GNNV-K1), chum salmon reovirus (CSV) and eel herpesvirus (HVA). GSIV-K1, RSIV-Ku and CSV replicated well in SPB cells, with a significant cytopathic effect and virus production. However, the cells were HVA and GNNV refractory. To examine the ability of SPB cells to stably express foreign protein, expression vectors encoding GNNV B1 and B2 fused to enhanced green fluorescent protein (EGFP) and GSIV ORF35L fused to DsRed were constructed and introduced by transfection into SPB cells. Stable transfectants displayed different morphologies compared with SPB and with each other. EGFP-B1 was predominantly localized in the nuclei, EFPF-B2 was distributed throughout the cytoplasm and nucleus, and granular 35L-DsRed was localized with secreted vesicles. The expression of EFPF-B2 in SPB cells produced blebs on the surface, but the cells showing stable expression of EGFP, EGFP-B1 or 35L-DsRed showed normal morphologies. Results show the SPB cells and the transfected cells grow well at temperatures between 20 and 35 °C and with serum-dependent growth. SPB cells are suitable for studies on foreign protein expression and virology.