Open Access Highly Accessed Research article

Transcriptome analysis of chicken kidney tissues following coronavirus avian infectious bronchitis virus infection

Feng Cong, Xiaoli Liu, Zongxi Han, Yuhao Shao, Xiangang Kong and Shengwang Liu*

Author Affiliations

Division of Avian Infectious Diseases, State Key Laboratory of Veterinary Biotechnology, Harbin Veterinary Research Institute, The Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences, Harbin 150001, The People’s Republic of China

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BMC Genomics 2013, 14:743  doi:10.1186/1471-2164-14-743

Published: 30 October 2013



Infectious bronchitis virus (IBV), a prototype of the Coronaviridae family, is an economically important causative agent of infectious bronchitis in chickens and causes an acute and highly contagious upper respiratory tract infections that may lead to nephritis. However, the molecular antiviral mechanisms of chickens to IBV infection remain poorly understood. In this study, we conducted global gene expression profiling of chicken kidney tissue after nephropathogenic IBV infection to better understand the interactions between host and virus.


IBV infection contributed to differential expression of 1777 genes, of which 876 were up-regulated and 901 down-regulated in the kidney compared to those of control chickens and 103 associated with immune and inflammatory responses may play important roles in the host defense response during IBV infection. Twelve of the altered immune-related genes were confirmed by real-time RT-PCR. Gene ontology category, KEGG pathway, and gene interaction networks (STRING analysis) were analyzed to identify relationships among differentially expressed genes involved in signal transduction, cell adhesion, immune responses, apoptosis regulation, positive regulation of the I-kappaB kinase/NF-kappaB cascade and response to cytokine stimulus. Most of these genes were related and formed a large network, in which IL6, STAT1, MYD88, IRF1 and NFKB2 were key genes.


Our results provided comprehensive knowledge regarding the host transcriptional response to IBV infection in chicken kidney tissues, thereby providing insight into IBV pathogenesis, particularly the involvement of innate immune pathway genes associated with IBV infection.

Infectious bronchitis virus; Kidney; Microarray; Transcriptome