GILLMODEL – Development of an in vitro model to study environmental factors influencing the gill epithelial function

Gill disease in farmed Atlantic salmon is a significant problem. Poor gill health, often caused by infectious agents or bad water quality or a combination of these, severely compromises the animal welfare and growth. With the increasing focus on recirculation aquaculture systems (RAS) and more intensive production, new challenges related to the epithelial function of the gill are expected.

The primary objective is to establish an in vitro gill epithelial model for Atlantic salmon as a bioassay to predict harmful environmental and infective challenges and as a tool to study cellular mechanisms and transepithelial transport. Through this, we aim to reduce the number of Salmon used in experimental trials for the study of gill health. To achieve this we will use the salmon epithelial gill cell line ASG10, recently developed in our project group. It provides increased knowledge, at the cellular level, on treats against a good gill health of Atlantic Salmon

GILLMODEL is financed from The Norwegian Research Council – HAVBRUK 2, fish health – methods to replace, reduce and refine the use of fish in research (3R).
Budget: 4 mill NOK
Period: Aug 2019 – Dec 2022


Ivanova L, Fæste CK, Solhaug A. Atlantic salmon gill epithelial cell line (ASG-10) as a suitable model for xenobiotic biotransformation. Metabolites 2023, 13, 771.


Norwegian Veterinary Institute: Anita Solhaug (Project leader), Mona Gjessing, Maria Dahle, Hilde Sindre, Lada Ivanova, Christiane Fæste
NMBU: Even Thoen
University of Fraser Valley, Canada: Lucy Lee
Nord University: Torstein Kristensen and Pål A. Olsvik
Galway-Mayo Institute of Technology, Irland: Orla Slattery
University of Tasmania, Tasmania: Barbara Nowak