Email updates

Keep up to date with the latest news and content from BMC Proceedings and BioMed Central.

This article is part of the supplement: Proceedings of the International Symposium on Animal Genomics for Animal Health (AGAH 2010)

Open Access Open Badges Proceedings

Down-regulation of promoter methylation level of CD4 gene after MDV infection in MD-susceptible chicken line

Juan Luo1, Ying Yu13, Huanmin Zhang2, Fei Tian1, Shuang Chang2, Hans H Cheng2 and Jiuzhou Song1*

  • * Corresponding author: Jiuzhou Song

  • † Equal contributors

Author Affiliations

1 Animal & Avian Sciences Department, University of Maryland, College Park, Maryland, 20740, USA

2 USDA, ARS, Avian Disease and Oncology Laboratory, East Lansing, MI 48823, USA

3 College of Animal Sciences, China Agricultural University, Haidian, Beijing, 100193, P.R. China

For all author emails, please log on.

BMC Proceedings 2011, 5(Suppl 4):S7  doi:10.1186/1753-6561-5-S4-S7

Published: 3 June 2011



Marek’s disease virus (MDV) is an oncovirus that induces lymphoid tumors in susceptible chickens, and may affect the epigenetic stability of the CD4 gene. The purpose of this study was to find the effect of MDV infection on DNA methylation status of the CD4 gene differed between MD-resistant (L63) and –susceptible (L72) chicken lines.


Chickens from each line were divided into two groups with one group infected by MDV and the other group as uninfected controls. Then, promoter DNA methylation levels of the CD4 gene were measured by Pyrosequencing; and gene expression analysis was performed by quantitative PCR.


Promoter methylation of the CD4 gene was found to be down-regulated in L72 chickens only after MDV infection. The methylation down-regulation of the CD4 promoter is negatively correlated with up-regulation of CD4 gene expression in the L72 spleen at 21 dpi.


The methylation fluctuation and mRNA expression change of CD4 gene induced by MDV infection suggested a unique epigenetic mechanism existed in MD-susceptible chickens.