Open Access Research article

Transcriptome analysis of porcine PBMCs after in vitro stimulation by LPS or PMA/ionomycin using an expression array targeting the pig immune response

Yu Gao123, Laurence Flori123, Jérome Lecardonnel123, Diane Esquerré123, Zhi-Liang Hu4, Angélique Teillaud123, Gaëtan Lemonnier123, Francois Lefèvre5, Isabelle P Oswald6 and Claire Rogel-Gaillard123*

Author affiliations

1 INRA, UMR 1313 de Génétique Animale et Biologie Intégrative, Domaine de Vilvert, 78350 Jouy-en-Josas, France

2 CEA, DSV, IRCM, SREIT, Laboratoire de Radiobiologie et Etude du Génome, Domaine de Vilvert, 78350 Jouy-en-Josas, France

3 AgroParisTech, Laboratoire de Génétique Animale et Biologie Intégrative, Domaine de Vilvert, 78350 Jouy-en-Josas, France

4 Department of Animal Science, Center for Integrated Animal Genomics, Iowa State University, 2255 Kildee Hall, Ames, IA 50011-3150, USA

5 INRA, UR892 de Virologie et Immunologie Moléculaires, 78350 Jouy-en-Josas, France

6 INRA, UR66 de Pharmacologie-Toxicologie, 180 chemin de Tournefeuille, BP 93173, 31000 Toulouse, France

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Citation and License

BMC Genomics 2010, 11:292  doi:10.1186/1471-2164-11-292

Published: 11 May 2010



Designing sustainable animal production systems that better balance productivity and resistance to disease is a major concern. In order to address questions related to immunity and resistance to disease in pig, it is necessary to increase knowledge on its immune system and to produce efficient tools dedicated to this species.


A long-oligonucleotide-based chip referred to as SLA-RI/NRSP8-13K was produced by combining a generic set with a newly designed SLA-RI set that targets all annotated loci of the pig major histocompatibility complex (MHC) region (SLA complex) in both orientations as well as immunity genes outside the SLA complex.

The chip was used to study the immune response of pigs following stimulation of porcine peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) with lipopolysaccharide (LPS) or a mixture of phorbol myristate acetate (PMA) and ionomycin for 24 hours. Transcriptome analysis revealed that ten times more genes were differentially expressed after PMA/ionomycin stimulation than after LPS stimulation. LPS stimulation induced a general inflammation response with over-expression of SAA1, pro-inflammatory chemokines IL8, CCL2, CXCL5, CXCL3, CXCL2 and CCL8 as well as genes related to oxidative processes (SOD2) and calcium pathways (S100A9 and S100A12). PMA/ionomycin stimulation induced a stronger up-regulation of T cell activation than of B cell activation with dominance toward a Th1 response, including IL2, CD69 and TNFRSF9 (tumor necrosis factor receptor superfamily, member 9) genes. In addition, a very intense repression of THBS1 (thrombospondin 1) was observed. Repression of MHC class I genes was observed after PMA/ionomycin stimulation despite an up-regulation of the gene cascade involved in peptide processing. Repression of MHC class II genes was observed after both stimulations. Our results provide preliminary data suggesting that antisense transcripts mapping to the SLA complex may have a role during immune response.


The SLA-RI/NRSP8-13K chip was found to accurately decipher two distinct immune response activations of PBMCs indicating that it constitutes a valuable tool to further study immunity and resistance to disease in pig. The transcriptome analysis revealed specific and common features of the immune responses depending on the stimulation agent that increase knowledge on pig immunity.