University of Alberta

Barbara Katzenback, PhD

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Barbara Katzenback, PhD candidate

Research Interests

My research project focuses on development of macrophages, which are important phagocytic and antigen presenting innate immune cell, that are critical to the survival of metazoans through maintainance of homeostasis and defence against invading pathogens. In vertebrates, two macrophage development pathways known as primitive and definitive monopoiesis exist. Primitive monopoiesis occurs early in development giving rise to primarily phagocytic macrophages. Definitive monopoiesis occurs in adults where macrophages are generated for both homeostasis and host defence. Currently it is unknown whether both pathways occur simultaneously in lower vertebrates. Our lab uses a unique primary fish kidney macrophage culture system where all three stages of definitive macrophage development (progenitor cells, monocytes, and mature macrophages) are present. This model system is characteristic for lower vertebrates and allows for the comprehensive analysis of interactions between developing macrophage subpopulations.
My main research objective is to identify and characterize progenitor cell subpopulations of goldfish. My hypothesis is that distinct subpopulations exist that are responsible for the generation of both primitive and definitive macrophages in adult goldfish, and these pathways are regulated by host growth factors that progenitor cells are exposed to during early monopoiesis. The aims of my project are: (1) Identify goldfish progenitor cell receptors/markers to which polyclonal antibodies can be generated for use in isolating progenitor cell sub-populations. (2) Characterize goldfish progenitor cell sub-populations based on both receptor and transcription factor expression. (3) Examine the effects of growth factors such as CSF-1, LIF, granulin, TGF-, Kit ligand, and combinations thereof on progenitor to macrophage cell development in vitro and in vivo.


Hanington PC, Tam JY, Katzenback BA, Hitchen SJ, Barreda DR, and Belosevic M. 2009. Development of macrophages of cyprinid fish. Developmental and Comparative Immunology. (Invited refereed review) 33: 411-429
Katzenback BA and Belosevic M. 2009. Isolation and functional characterization of neutrophil-like cells from goldfish (Carassius auratus L.) kidney. Developmental and Comparative Immunology 33: 601-611.
Belosevic M, Haddad G, Walsh JG, Grayfer L, Katzenback BA, Hanington PC, Neumann NF, and Stafford JL. 2009. Innate Immunity of Fish: Antimicrobial Responses of Fish Macrophages. In: Fish Defenses Volume 1, (Fish Immunology). G Zaccone, MJ Manning, CJ Secombes, BG Kapor (eds.) Science Publishers, Enfield (N.H.) USA and Plymouth (UK). ISBN 978-57808-327-5 [Invited refereed review].
Oladiran A, Hitchen SJ, Katzenback BA and Belosevic M. 2008. Biology of Select Zoonotic Protozoan: Infections of Domestic Animals, [Eds. Robert.J Hudson], in Encyclopedia of Life Support Systems (EOLSS), Developed under the Auspices of the UNESCO, Eolss Publishers, Oxford ,UK, [] [Retrieved July 14, 2008] [Book Chapter]
Katzenback BA, Plouffe DA, Haddad G, and Belosevic M. 2007. Administration of recombinant parasite -tubulin to goldfish (Carassius auratus L.) confers partial protection against challenge infection with Trypanosoma danilewskyi Laveran and Mesnil, 1904. Veterinary Parasitology. 151: 36-45.

Contact Information:

Barb Katzenback
CW 405 Biological Sciences Building
University of Alberta
Edmonton, Alberta
T6E 2E9
Phone: (780) 492-1265

Last Modified:2012-06-06