Background: When compared to the murine permissive host of Schistosoma japonicum, Wistar rats are less susceptible to Schistosoma japonicum infection, and are considered to provide a less suitable microenvironment for parasite growth and development. MicroRNAs (miRNAs), are a class of endogenous, non-coding small RNAs, that impose an additional, highly significant, level of gene regulation within eukaryotes. Methods. To investigate the regulatory mechanisms provided by miRNA in the schistosome-infected rat model, we utilized a miRNA microarray to compare the progression of miRNA expression within different host tissues both before and 10 days after cercarial infection, in order to identify potential miRNAs with roles in responding to a schistosome infection. Results: Among the analysed miRNAs, 16 within the liver, 61 within the spleen and 10 within the lung, were differentially expressed in infected Wistar rats. Further analysis of the differentially expressed miRNAs revealed that many important signal pathways are triggered after infection with S. japonicum in Wistar rats. These include the signal transduction mechanisms associated with the Wnt and MAPK signaling pathways, cellular differentiation, with a particular emphasis on adipocyte and erythroid differentiation. Conclusions: The results presented here include the identification of specific differentially expressed miRNAs within the liver, lungs and spleen of Wistar rats. These results highlighted the function of host miRNA regulation during an active schistosome infection. Our study provides a better understanding of the regulatory role of miRNA in schistosome infection, and host-parasite interactions in a non-permissive host environment. © 2013 Han et al.; licensee BioMed Central Ltd.
Han, H., Peng, J., Hong, Y., Zhang, M., Han, Y., Fu, Z., … Lin, J. (2013). Comparison of the differential expression miRNAs in Wistar rats before and 10 days after S.japonicum infection. Parasites and Vectors, 6(1). https://doi.org/10.1186/1756-3305-6-120