Profiling of differentially expressed genes in sheep T lymphocytes response to an artificial primary Haemonchus contortus infection

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Background: Haemonchus contortus is a common bloodsucking nematode causing widespread economic loss in agriculture. Upon H. contortus infection, a series of host responses is elicited, especially those related to T lymphocyte immunity. Existing studies mainly focus on the general immune responses of sheep T lymphocyte to H. contortus, lacking investigations at the molecular level. The objective of this study was to obtain a systematic transcriptional profiling of the T lymphocytes in H. contortus primary-infected sheep. Methods: Nematode-free sheep were orally infected once with H. contortus L3s. T lymphocyte samples were collected from the peripheral blood of 0, 3, 30 and 60 days post infection (dpi) infected sheep. Microarrays were used to compare gene transcription levels between samples. Quantitative RT-PCR was employed to validate the microarray data. Gene Ontology and KEGG pathway analysis were utilized for the annotation of differentially expressed genes. Results: Our microarray data was consistent with qPCR results. From microarrays, 853, 242 and 42 differentially expressed genes were obtained in the 3d vs. 0d, 30d vs. 0d and 60d vs. 0d comparison groups, respectively. Gene Ontology and KEGG pathway analysis indicated that these genes were involved in metabolism, signaling, cell growth and immune system processes. Functional analysis of significant differentially expressed genes, such as SLC9A3R2, ABCB9, COMMD4, SUGT1, FCER1G, GSK3A, PAK4 and FCER2, revealed a crucial association with cellular homeostasis maintenance and immune response. Our data suggested that maintaining both effective immunological response and natural cellular activity are important for T lymphocytes in fighting against H. contortus infection. Conclusions: Our results provide a substantial list of candidate genes in sheep T lymphocytes response to H. contortus infection, and contribute novel insights into a general immune response upon infection.




Yang, Y., Zhou, Q. J., Chen, X. Q., Yan, B. L., Guo, X. L., Zhang, H. L., & Du, A. F. (2015). Profiling of differentially expressed genes in sheep T lymphocytes response to an artificial primary Haemonchus contortus infection. Parasites and Vectors, 8(1).

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