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Open Access Highly Accessed Research article

Understanding Haemophilus parasuis infection in porcine spleen through a transcriptomics approach

Hongbo Chen1, Changchun Li1, Mingdi Fang1, Mengjin Zhu1, Xinyun Li1, Rui Zhou2, Kui Li3 and Shuhong Zhao1*

Author Affiliations

1 Key Lab of Agricultural Animal Genetics, Breeding, and Reproduction of Ministry of Education & Key Laboratory of Swine Genetics and Breeding of Ministry of Agriculture, Huazhong Agricultural University, Wuhan 430070, PR China

2 Division of Animal Infectious Disease, State Key Laboratory of Agricultural Microbiology, Huazhong Agricultural University, Wuhan 430070, PR China

3 Department of Gene and Cell Engineering, Institute of Animal Science, Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences, Beijing 100094, PR China

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BMC Genomics 2009, 10:64  doi:10.1186/1471-2164-10-64

Published: 5 February 2009

Abstract

Background

Haemophilus parasuis (HPS) is an important swine pathogen that causes Glässer's disease, which is characterized by fibrinous polyserositis, meningitis and arthritis. The molecular mechanisms that underlie the pathogenesis of the disease remain poorly understood, particularly the resistance of porcine immune system to HPS invasion. In this study, we investigated the global changes in gene expression in the spleen following HPS infection using the Affymetrix Porcine Genechip™.

Results

A total of 931 differentially expressed (DE) transcripts were identified in the porcine spleen 7 days after HPS infection; of these, 92 unique genes showed differential expression patterns based on analysis using BLASTX and Gene Ontology. The DE genes involved in the immune response included genes for inflammasomes (RETN, S100A8, S100A9, S100A12), adhesion molecules (CLDN3, CSPG2, CD44, LGALS8), transcription factors (ZBTB16, SLC39A14, CEBPD, CEBPB), acute-phase proteins and complement (SAA1, LTF, HP, C3), differentiation genes for epithelial cells and keratinocytes (TGM1, MS4A8B, CSTA), and genes related to antigen processing and presentation (HLA-B, HLA-DRB1). Further immunostimulation analyses indicated that mRNA levels of S100A8, S100A9, and S100A12 in porcine PK-15 cells increased within 48 h and were sustained after administration of lipopolysaccharide (LPS) and Poly(I:C) respectively. In addition, mapping of DE genes to porcine health traits QTL regions showed that 70 genes were distributed in 7 different known porcine QTL regions. Finally, 10 DE genes were validated by quantitative PCR.

Conclusion

Our findings demonstrate previously unrecognized changes in gene transcription that are associated with HPS infection in vivo, and many potential cascades identified in the study clearly merit further investigation. Our data provide new clues to the nature of the immune response in mammals, and we have identified candidate genes that are related to resistance to HPS.