Transcriptome analysis of porcine whole blood has several applications, which include deciphering genetic mechanisms for host responses to viral infection and vaccination. The abundance of alpha- and beta-globin transcripts in blood, however, impedes the ability to cost-effectively detect transcripts of low abundance. Although protocols exist for reduction of globin transcripts from human and mouse/rat blood, preliminary work demonstrated these are not useful for porcine blood Globin Reduction (GR). Our objectives were to develop a porcine specific GR protocol and to evaluate the GR effects on gene discovery and sequence read coverage in RNA-sequencing (RNA-seq) experiments.
Mycobacterium avium subsp. paratuberculosis (MAP) causes Johne's disease (JD), a chronic granulomatous intestinal inflammation of ruminants. Current diagnostic tools lack sensitivity to detect JD early in infection; therefore, alternatives are desired. The objective was to identify potential biomarkers in whole blood of high- and low-dose (LD) MAP-challenged Holstein-Friesian calves 3 months after inoculation. Infected calves were designated MAP-positive using the IFN-? release assay. Differential expression of transcripts in whole blood was compared between non-infected controls and HD, as well as LD calves, using the Affymetrix(®) GeneChip(®) Bovine Genome Array. Microarray data were analyzed using RMA and PLIER algorithms; 296 transcripts were differentially expressed (17 had ? 1.5 fold change). The HD and LD calves had differential gene expression profiles for up to 80% of differentially expressed genes. Pathway analyses using Ingenuity Pathway Analysis (IPA(®)) indicated inhibition of several defence mechanisms, including apoptosis, leukocyte and lymphocyte trafficking, overall repression of gene expression and potentially hydrogen peroxide production in macrophages. Further validation using qPCR verified increased expression of CD46, ICOS, and CEP350, but decreased expression of CTLA4, YARS, and PARVB in infected calves. Additionally, a comparison of seropositive and seronegative infected calves identified transcripts predictive of seroconversion. We concluded that IL6ST/gp130 and CD22 may have important roles in the induction of antibodies against MAP. Putative biomarkers of early MAP infection with roles in immune responses were identified; in addition, the importance of infective dose on biomarkers was determined.
MicroRNAs (miRNAs) can post-transcriptionally regulate gene expression and have been shown to be critical regulators to the fine-tuning of epithelial immune responses. However, the role of miRNAs in bovine responses to E. coli and S. aureus, two mastitis causing pathogens, is not well understood.
Salmonella enterica serovar Typhimurium is a gram-negative bacterium that can colonise the gut of humans and several species of food producing farm animals to cause enteric or septicaemic salmonellosis. While many studies have looked into the host genetic response to Salmonella infection, relatively few have used correlation of shedding traits with gene expression patterns to identify genes whose variable expression among different individuals may be associated with differences in Salmonella clearance and resistance. Here, we aimed to identify porcine genes and gene co-expression networks that differentiate distinct responses to Salmonella challenge with respect to faecal Salmonella shedding.
MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are small non-coding RNAs found to regulate several biological processes including adipogenesis. Understanding adipose tissue regulation is critical for beef cattle as fat is an important determinant of beef quality and nutrient value. This study analyzed the association between genomic context characteristics of miRNAs with their expression and function in bovine adipose tissue. Twenty-four subcutaneous adipose tissue biopsies were obtained from eight British-continental crossbred steers at 3 different time points. Total RNA was extracted and miRNAs were profiled using a miRNA microarray with expression further validated by qRT-PCR.
Bacterial colonization in the gastrointestinal tracts (GIT) of preweaned calves is very important, since it can influence early development and postweaning performance and health. This study investigated the composition of the bacteria along the GIT (rumen, jejunum, ileum, cecum, and colon) of preweaned bull calves (3 weeks old) using pyrosequencing to understand the segregation of bacteria between the mucosal surface and digesta. Phylogenetic analysis revealed that a total of 83 genera belonging to 13 phyla were distributed throughout the GIT of preweaned calves, with the Firmicutes, Bacteroidetes, and Proteobacteria predominating. Quantitative PCR (qPCR) analysis of selected abundant bacterial genera (Prevotella, Bacteroides, Lactobacillus, and Faecalibacterium) revealed that their prevalence was significantly different among the GIT regions and between mucosa- and digesta-associated communities. Rumens contained the most diverse bacterial population, consisting of 47 genera, including 16 rumen-specific genera, followed by the large intestine and then the small intestine. Bacterial species richness was higher at the mucosal surface than in the local digesta, with the exception of the rumen. The majority of bacteria found on the rumen epithelial surface and within the small intestine could not be identified due to a lack of known genus-level information. Thus, future studies will be required to fully characterize the microbiome during the development of the rumens and the mucosal immune systems of newborn calves. This is the first study to analyze in depth the bacterial composition of the GIT microbiome in preweaned calves, which extends previous findings regarding early rumen colonization and bacterial segregation between mucosa- and digesta-associated microbial communities.
One potential role of miRNAs is to buffer variation in gene expression, although conflicting results have been reported. To investigate the buffering role of miRNAs in response to Salmonella infection in pigs, we sequenced miRNA and mRNA in whole blood from 15 pig samples before and after Salmonella challenge. By analyzing inter-individual variation in gene expression patterns, we found that for moderately and lowly expressed genes, putative miRNA targets showed significantly lower expression variance compared with non-miRNA-targets. Expression variance between highly expressed miRNA targets and non-miRNA-targets was not significantly different. Further, miRNA targets demonstrated significantly reduced variance after challenge whereas non-miRNA-targets did not. RNA binding proteins (RBPs) are significantly enriched among the miRNA targets with dramatically reduced variance of expression after Salmonella challenge. Moreover, we found evidence that targets of young (less-conserved) miRNAs showed lower expression variance compared with targets of old (evolutionarily conserved) miRNAs. These findings point to the importance of a buffering effect of miRNAs for relatively lowly expressed genes, and suggest that the reduced expression variation of RBPs may play an important role in response to Salmonella infection.
This study aimed to investigate the potential regulatory role of miRNAs in the development of gastrointestinal tract (GIT) during the early life of dairy calves. Rumen and small intestinal (mid-jejunum and ileum) tissue samples were collected from newborn (30 min after birth; n?=?3), 7-day-old (n?=?6), 21-day-old (n?=?6), and 42-day-old (n?=?6) dairy calves. The miRNA profiling was performed using Illumina RNA-sequencing and the temporal and regional differentially expressed miRNAs were further validated using qRT-PCR. Analysis of 16S rRNA gene copy numbers was used to quantify total bacteria, Bifidobacterium and Lactobacillus species. The expression of miR-143 was abundant in all three gut regions, at all time points and it targets genes involved primarily in the proliferation of connective tissue cells and muscle cells, suggesting a role in regulating rapid tissue development during the early life of calves. The expression of miR-146, miR-191, miR-33, miR-7, miR-99/100, miR-486, miR-145, miR-196 and miR-211 displayed significant temporal differences (FDR <0.05), while miR-192/215, miR-194, miR-196, miR-205 and miR-31 revealed significant regional differences (FDR <0.05). The expression levels of miR-15/16, miR-29 and miR-196 were positively correlated with the copy numbers of 16S rRNA gene of Bifidobacterium or Lactobacillus species or both (P<0.05). Functional analysis using Ingenuity Pathway Analysis identified the above mentioned differentially expressed miRNAs as potential regulators of gut tissue cell proliferation and differentiation. The bacterial density-associated miRNAs were identified as modulators of the development of lymphoid tissues (miR-196), maturation of dendritic cells (miR-29) and development of immune cells (miR-15/16). The present study revealed temporal and regional changes in miRNA expression and a correlation between miRNA expression and microbial population in the GIT during the early life, which provides further evidence for another mechanism by which host-microbial interactions play a role in regulating gut development.
Integrative Short Reads NAvigator (ISRNA) is an online toolkit for analyzing high-throughput small RNA sequencing data. Besides the high-speed genome mapping function, ISRNA provides statistics for genomic location, length distribution and nucleotide composition bias analysis of sequence reads. Number of reads mapped to known microRNAs and other classes of short non-coding RNAs, coverage of short reads on genes, expression abundance of sequence reads as well as some other analysis functions are also supported. The versatile search functions enable users to select sequence reads according to their sub-sequences, expression abundance, genomic location, relationship to genes, etc. A specialized genome browser is integrated to visualize the genomic distribution of short reads. ISRNA also supports management and comparison among multiple datasets.
PRC2 (Polycomb repressive complex 2) mediates epigenetic gene silencing by catalyzing the triple methylation of histone H3 Lys-27 (H3K27me3) to establish a repressive epigenetic state. PRC2 is involved in the regulation of many fundamental biological processes and is especially essential for embryonic stem cells. However, how the formation and function of PRC2 are regulated is largely unknown. Here, we show that a microRNA encoded by the imprinted Dlk1-Dio3 region of mouse chromosome 12, miR-323-3p, targets Eed (embryonic ectoderm development) mRNA, which encodes one of the core components of PRC2, the EED protein. Binding of miR-323-3p to Eed mRNA resulted in reduced EED protein abundance and cellular H3K27me3 levels, indicating decreased PRC2 activity. Such regulation seems to be conserved among mammals, at least between mice and humans. We demonstrate that induced pluripotent stem cells with varied developmental abilities had different miR-323-3p as well as EED and H3K27me3 levels, indicating that miR-323-3p may be involved in the regulation of stem cell pluripotency through affecting PRC2 activity. Mouse embryonic fibroblast cells had much higher miR-323-3p expression and nearly undetectable H3K27me3 levels. These findings identify miR-323-3p as a new regulator for PRC2 and provide a new approach for regulating PRC2 activity via microRNAs.
The rat is an important animal model in biomedical research, but practical limitations to genetic manipulation have restricted the application of genetic analysis. Here we report the derivation of rat androgenetic haploid embryonic stem cells (RahESCs) as a tool to facilitate such studies. Our approach is based on removal of the maternal pronucleus from zygotes to generate androgenetic embryos followed by derivation of ESCs. The resulting RahESCs have 21 chromosomes, express pluripotency markers, differentiate into three germ layer cells, and contribute to the germline. Homozygous mutations can be introduced by both large-scale gene trapping and precise gene targeting via homologous recombination or the CRISPR-Cas system. RahESCs can also produce fertile rats after intracytoplasmic injection into oocytes and are therefore able to transmit genetic modifications to offspring. Overall, RahESCs represent a practical tool for functional genetic studies and production of transgenic lines in rat.
Treponema saccharophilum is a pectinolytic bacterium isolated from the bovine rumen. The abundance of this bacterium has not been well determined, reflecting the lack of a reliable and accurate detection method. To develop a rapid method for monitoring T. saccharophilum, we performed pyrosequencing of genomic DNA isolated from rumen microbiota to explore the 16S rRNA gene sequences of T. saccharophilum candidates. Species-specific primers were designed based on fifteen sequences of partial 16S rRNA genes generated through pyrosequencing with 97% or higher similarity with T. saccharophilum DSM2985 along with sequence from type strain. The relative abundance of T. saccharophilum was quantified in both in vitro and in vivo rumen systems with varied pectin-containing forages using real-time PCR. There was a clear association of T. saccharophilum with alfalfa hay, which contains more pectin than Chinese wild rye hay or corn stover. The relative abundance of T. saccharophilum was as high as 0.58% in vivo, comparable with the population density of other common rumen bacteria. It is recognized that T. saccharophilum plays an important role in pectin digestion in the rumen.
Understanding how species-specific microRNAs (miRNAs) contribute to species-specific phenotypes is a central topic in biology. This study aimed to elucidate the role of ruminant-specific miRNAs in shaping mRNA expression divergence between ruminant and non-ruminant species.
This study aimed to evaluate whether the host genetic background impact the ruminal microbial communities of the progeny of sires from three different breeds under different diets. Eighty five bacterial and twenty eight methanogen phylotypes from 49 individuals of diverging sire breed (Angus, ANG; Charolais, CHA; and Hybrid, HYB), fed high energy density (HE) and low energy density (LE) diets were determined and correlated with breed, rumen fermentation and phenotypic variables, using multivariate statistical approaches. When bacterial phylotypes were compared between diets, ANG offspring showed the lowest number of diet-associated phylotypes, whereas CHA and HYB progenies had seventeen and twenty-three diet-associated phylotypes, respectively. For the methanogen phylotypes, there were no sire breed-associated phylotypes; however, seven phylotypes were significantly different among breeds on either diet (P<0.05). Sire breed did not influence the metabolic variables measured when high energy diet was fed. A correlation matrix of all pairwise comparisons among frequencies of bacterial and methanogen phylotypes uncovered their relationships with sire breed. A cluster containing methanogen phylotypes M16 (Methanobrevibacter gottschalkii) and M20 (Methanobrevibacter smithii), and bacterial phylotype B62 (Robinsoniella sp.) in Angus offspring fed low energy diet reflected the metabolic interactions among microbial consortia. The clustering of the phylotype frequencies from the three breeds indicated that phylotypes detected in CHA and HYB progenies are more similar among them, compared to ANG animals. Our results revealed that the frequency of particular microbial phylotypes in the progeny of cattle may be influenced by the sire breed when different diets are fed and ultimately further impact host metabolic functions, such as feed efficiency.
Calf starters are usually offered to dairy calves to facilitate the weaning process, however, the effect of solid feed consumption on gut health has not been well studied. This study aimed to investigate the effect of calf starter feeding on the gut bacterial community and mucosal immune functions in dairy calves during weaning transition. Mucosal tissue and digesta samples were collected from rumen, jejunum, ileum, cecum, and colon upon slaughtering of calves (n=8) after feeding the experimental diets [milk replacer (MR) or milk replacer + calf starter (MR+S)] for 6 wk. Expression of toll-like receptor (TLR) 10 was downregulated along the gut, whereas TLR2 in colon and TLR6 along the gut were upregulated in MR+S-fed calves compared with MR-fed calves. Ileal TLR9 and TLR10 showed higher expression compared with the other regions regardless of the diet. Peptidoglycan recognition protein 1 demonstrated a diet- and gut-regional dependent expression pattern, whereas ?-defensin did not. The diet and gut region also affected the expression of tight junction-regulating genes claudin 4 and occludin. Bacterial diversity tended to be different between the 2 diets, whereas the bacterial density was different among gut regions and sample type. The present study revealed that changes in bacterial diversity, expression of genes encoding host mucosal immune responses, and barrier functions were associated with the MR+S diet, and suggests that solid feed consumption may alter gut microbiome and host mucosal functions during weaning transition.
During the transition from compensated hypertrophy to heart failure, the signaling between L-type Ca(2+) channels in the cell membrane/T-tubules and ryanodine receptors in the sarcoplasmic reticulum becomes defective, partially because of the decreased expression of a T-tubule-sarcoplasmic reticulum anchoring protein, junctophilin-2. MicroRNA (miR)-24, a junctophilin-2 suppressing miR, is upregulated in hypertrophied and failing cardiomyocytes.
Adipose tissue plays a critical role in energy homeostasis and metabolism. There is sparse understanding of the molecular regulation at the protein level of bovine adipose tissues, especially within different fat depots under different nutritional regimes. The objective of this study was to analyze the differences in protein expression between bovine subcutaneous and visceral fat depots in steers fed different diets and to identify the potential regulatory molecular mechanisms of protein expression. Subcutaneous and visceral fat tissues were collected from 16 British-continental steers (15.5 month old) fed a high-fat diet (7.1% fat, n=8) or a control diet (2.7% fat, n=8). Protein expression was profiled using label free quantification LC-MS/MS and expression of selected transcripts was evaluated using qRT-PCR. A total of 682 proteins were characterized and quantified with fat depot having more impact on protein expression, altering the level of 51.0% of the detected proteins, whereas diet affected only 5.3%. Functional analysis revealed that energy production and lipid metabolism were among the main functions associated with differentially expressed proteins between fat depots, with visceral fat being more metabolically active than subcutaneous fat as proteins associated with lipid and energy metabolism were upregulated. The expression of several proteins was significantly correlated to subcutaneous fat thickness and adipocyte size, indicating their potential as adiposity markers. A poor correlation (r=0.245) was observed between mRNA and protein levels for 9 genes, indicating that many proteins may be subjected to post-transcriptional regulation. A total of 8 miRNAs were predicted to regulate more than 20% of lipid metabolism proteins differentially expressed between fat depots, suggesting that miRNAs play a role in adipose tissue regulation. Our results show that proteomic changes support the distinct metabolic and physiological characteristics observed between subcutaneous and visceral adipose tissue depots in cattle.
Limited knowledge of the structure and activities of the ruminal bacterial community prevents the understanding of the effect of population dynamics on functional bacterial groups and on host productivity. This study aimed to identify particular bacteria associated with host feed efficiency in steers with differing diets and residual feed intake (RFI) using culture-independent methods: PCR-denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis (DGGE) and quantitative real-time PCR analysis. PCR-DGGE profiles were generated from the ruminal fluid of 55 steers fed a low-energy-density diet and then switched to a high-energy-density diet. Bacterial profile comparisons by multivariate statistical analysis showed a trend only for RFI-related clusters on the high-energy diet. When steers (n = 19) belonging to the same RFI group under both diets were used to identify specific bacterial phylotypes related to feed efficiency traits, correlations were detected between dry matter intake, average daily gain, and copy numbers of the 16S rRNA gene of Succinivibrio sp. in low-RFI (efficient) steers, whereas correlations between Robinsoniella sp. and RFI (P < 0.05) were observed for high-RFI (inefficient) animals. Eubacterium sp. differed significantly (P < 0.05) between RFI groups that were only on the high-energy diet. Our work provides a comprehensive framework to understand how particular bacterial phylotypes contribute to differences in feed efficiency and ultimately influence host productivity, which may either depend on or be independent from diet factors.
The intestinal immune system influences responses to both enteric pathogens and commensal microflora but few models are available to analyze mucosal immune responses to either enteric pathogens or commensal microflora. We surgically isolated ileal segments in 2-3 week old calves, infused antibiotics, and subdivided each segment into three compartments. Following a 6-8 week period the isolated ileal segments appeared grossly normal in 4 of 5 calves, retained compartmentalization, and contents were culture positive for either Enterococcus spp. or Escherichia coli. In a second experiment, isolated ileal segments were examined following a 9-11 month period and appeared grossly normal with compartmentalization retained in 8 of 11 animals. Streptococcus spp or Escherichia coli were cultured from segment contents collected from 3 of these 8 animals. Histology revealed a marked reduction in villus height in isolated ileal segments despite sustained crypt epithelium proliferation. Lymphoid follicles in ileal Peyers patches were reduced in size but remained sites of active lymphoproliferation within segments. Significant mucosal T cell, macrophage, and dendritic cell depletion was observed in isolated ileal segments and T cell and NK cell depletion increased significantly in the absence of culturable bacteria. Finally, Toll-like receptor (TLR)-4 expression was decreased but TLR-5 and -6 expression increased in ileal segments. Thus, isolated ileal segments remained relatively stable for prolonged periods and significant changes in mucosal leukocyte populations were correlated with the presence or absence of culturable microflora. Stable, as opposed to sterile, isolated ileal segments provide an opportunity to analyze bovine mucosal immune responses in the presence or absence of commensal microflora.
Adipogenesis, the complex development from preadipocytes or mesenchymal stem cells to mature adipocytes, is essential for fat formation and metabolism of adipose tissues in mammals. It has been reported to be regulated by hormones and various adipogenic transcription factors which are expressed as a transcriptional cascade promoting adipocyte differentiation, leading to the mature adipocyte phenotype. Recent findings indicate that microRNAs (miRNAs), a family of small RNA molecules of approximately 22 nucleotides in length, are involved in the regulatory network of many biological processes, including cell differentiation, through post-transcriptional regulation of transcription factors and/or other genes. In this review, we focus on the recent understanding of the roles of miRNAs in adipogenesis, including the most recent and relevant findings that support the role of several miRNAs as pro- or antiadipogenic factors regulating adipogenesis in mice, human and cattle to propose the future role of miRNA in adipogenesis of farm animal models.
Our understanding of the ruminal epithelial tissue-associated bacterial (defined as epimural bacteria in this study) community is limited. In this study, we aimed to determine whether diet influences the diversity of the epimural bacterial community in the bovine rumen. Twenty-four beef heifers were randomly assigned to either a rapid grain adaptation (RGA) treatment (n = 18) in which the heifers were allowed to adapt from a diet containing 97% hay to a diet containing 8% hay over 29 days or to the control group (n = 6), which was fed 97% hay. Rumen papillae were collected when the heifers were fed 97%, 25%, and 8% hay diets. PCR-denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis (DGGE) and quantitative real-time PCR analysis were used to characterize rumen epimural bacterial diversity and to estimate the total epimural bacterial population (copy numbers of the 16S rRNA gene). The epimural bacterial diversity from RGA heifers changed (P = 0.01) in response to the rapid dietary transition, whereas it was not affected in control heifers. A total of 88 PCR-DGGE bands were detected, and 44 were identified from phyla including Firmicutes, Bacteroidetes, and Proteobacteria. The bacteria Treponema sp., Ruminobacter sp., and Lachnospiraceae sp. were detected only when heifers were fed 25% and 8% hay diets, suggesting the presence of these bacteria is the result of adaptation to the high-grain diets. In addition, the total estimated population of rumen epimural bacteria was positively correlated with molar proportions of acetate, isobutyrate, and isovalerate, suggesting that they may play a role in volatile fatty acid metabolism in the rumen.
The primary aim of this study was to determine whether distinct gastrointestinal tract (GIT) microbial communities are established within ingesta and on mucosal surfaces of dairy calves and chickens to evaluate whether the principle of microbial segregation is of broad biological significance. Multivariate analysis of the predominant bacterial PCR-denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis profiles and estimated bacterial populations were compared in rumen, jejunum, ileum, cecum, and colon ingesta and matching mucosal tissues. Samples collected from 3-week old (n = 8) and 6-month old (n = 8) calves revealed that the predominant mucosa-associated bacteria were distinct from those inhabiting ingesta, and bacterial diversity varied significantly among the GIT regions. The estimated bacterial populations displayed significant regional differences for bovine mucosal (P = 0.05) and for ingesta (P = 0.03) only at 6 months of age. This indicates an established segregation of the enteric bacterial population throughout the GIT in weaned calves. Analysis of ileal and cecal bacterial profiles in chickens confirmed that the segregation of commensal bacteria between ingesta and the mucosal tissue was a common biological phenomenon. Our study provides some fundamental understanding of the impact of sample type (mucosa vs. ingesta), region, and host age on commensal bacterial establishment and segregation throughout the GIT.
Mucosal dendritic cells (DCs) play a key role in discriminating between dietary antigens, commensal microflora and pathogens but little is known regarding age-related changes in mucosal DC populations. We analyzed lymphoid and myeloid populations within the epithelium and lamina propria (LP) of the ileum and jejunum of weaned calves (6 months old) and compared their frequency and distribution with newborn calves (3-5 weeks old). CD4, CD8 and ?? TcR T cells and CD11c(Hi)MHC Class II(+) myeloid cell frequency were significantly different when comparing ileum and jejunum of weaned calves. In particular, the number of CD8 and ?? TcR T cells, and CD11c(Hi)CD14(+) macrophages was significantly greater in the ileum but CD11c(+) and CD11b(+) myeloid cell distribution was similar throughout the mucosal epithelium of the small intestine. Furthermore, significant age-related changes were apparent when comparing the frequency and abundance of mucosal leukocyte subpopulations in newborn and weaned calves. Total mucosal leukocytes (CD45(+)) increased significantly with age in both ileum and jejunum and much of this increase was attributed to mucosal T cells (CD3(+)). In particular, CD4 T cells and NK cells increased significantly in the jejunum and CD8, and ?? TcR T cells increased significantly with age throughout the small intestine. In contrast, CD11c(Hi)MHC Class II(+) myeloid cells remained numerically unchanged with age but DCs (CD13(+), CD26(+), CD205(+)) were enriched and macrophages (CD14(+), CD172a(+)) were depleted in older animals. Therefore, regional differences between ileal and jejunal mucosal leukocytes changed with age and there was also a marked age-dependent change in the composition of mucosal myeloid cells. These observations have significant implications for host responses to both pathogens and commensal microflora.
Mucosal dendritic cell development in the newborn is poorly understood despite evidence that distinct DC subpopulations populate individual mucosal surfaces. Therefore, we investigated DC phenotype and distribution in the small intestine of newborn calves. DC phenotype was analyzed using flow cytometry and DC distribution was investigated with immunohistochemistry. Purification of CD11c(Hi)MHC Class II(+) cells confirmed CD11c defined myeloid cells and a comparison of neonatal blood and intestine revealed distinct mucosal DC subpopulations. CD11c(Hi)CD14(+) cells were significantly more abundant in newborn ileum versus jejunum and CD335(+) NK cells were the only lymphoid population significantly different in ileum versus jejunum. Immunohistochemistry revealed unique patterns of myeloid cell distribution within the mucosal epithelium, lamina propria, and submucosa. CD11c(+) cells were present within the jejunal but absent from the ileal intraepithelial compartment. In contrast, CD11b(+) cells were present within the ileal but absent from the jejunal intraepithelial compartment. In conclusion, the neonatal small intestine is populated by diverse myeloid subpopulations and significant differences in regional distribution are established early in life. These observations may have significant implications for the response of the newborn to both commensal microflora and enteric pathogens.
Currently, knowledge regarding the ecology and function of bacteria attached to the epithelial tissue of the rumen wall is limited. In this study, the diversity of the bacterial community attached to the rumen epithelial tissue was compared to the rumen content bacterial community using 16S rRNA gene sequencing, PCR-DGGE, and qRT-PCR analysis. Sequence analysis of 2785 randomly selected clones from six 16S rDNA (?1.4kb) libraries showed that the community structures of three rumen content libraries clustered together and were separated from the rumen tissue libraries. The diversity index of each library revealed that ruminal content bacterial communities (4.12/4.42/4.88) were higher than ruminal tissue communities (2.90/2.73/3.23), based on 97% similarity. The phylum Firmicutes was predominant in the ruminal tissue communities, while the phylum Bacteroidetes was predominant in the ruminal content communities. The phyla Fibrobacteres, Planctomycetes, and Verrucomicrobia were only detected in the ruminal content communities. PCR-DGGE analysis of the bacterial profiles of the rumen content and ruminal epithelial tissue samples from 22 steers further confirmed that there is a distinct bacterial community that inhibits the rumen epithelium. The distinctive epimural bacterial communities suggest that Firmicutes, together with other epithelial-specific species, may have additional functions other than food digestion.
Bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) is a transmissible, fatal neurodegenerative disorder of cattle produced by prions. The use of excessive parallel sequencing for comparison of gene expression in bovine control and infected tissues may help to elucidate the molecular mechanisms associated with this disease. In this study, tag profiling Solexa sequencing was used for transcriptome analysis of bovine brain tissues. Replicate libraries were prepared from mRNA isolated from control and infected (challenged with 100 g of BSE-infected brain) medulla tissues 45 mo after infection. For each library, 5-6 million sequence reads were generated and approximately 67-70% of the reads were mapped against the Bovine Genome database to approximately 13,700-14,120 transcripts (each having at least one read). About 42-47% of the total reads mapped uniquely. Using the GeneSifter software package, 190 differentially expressed (DE) genes were identified (>2.0-fold change, p < .01): 73 upregulated and 117 downregulated. Seventy-nine DE genes had functions described in the Gene Ontology (GO) database and 16 DE genes were involved in 38 different pathways described in the Kyoto Encyclopedia of Genes and Genomes (KEGG) pathways. Digital analysis expression by tag profiling may be a powerful approach to comprehensive transcriptome analysis to identify changes associated with disease progression, leading to a better understanding of the underlying mechanism of pathogenesis of BSE.
The identification of variations in gene expression in response to bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) may help to elucidate the mechanisms of neuropathology and prion replication and discover biomarkers for disease. In this study, genes that are differentially expressed in the caudal medulla tissues of animals infected with different doses of PrP(BSE) at 12 and 45 mo post infection were compared using array containing 24,000 oligonucleotide probes. Data analysis identified 966 differentially expressed (DE) genes between control and infected animals. Genes identified in at least two of four experiments (control versus 1-g infected animals at 12 and 45-mo; control versus 100-g infected animals at 12 and 45 mo) were considered to be the genes that may be associated with BSE disease. From the 176 DE genes associated with BSE, 84 had functions described in the Gene Ontology (GO) database. Kyoto Encyclopedia of Genes and Genomes (KEGG) pathway analysis of 14 genes revealed that prion infection may cause dysfunction of several different networks, including extracellular matrix (ECM), cell adhesion, neuroactive ligand-receptor interaction, complement and coagulation cascades, MAPK signaling, neurodegenerative disorder, SNARE interactions in vesicular transport, and the transforming growth factor (TGF) beta signaling pathways. The identification of DE genes will contribute to a better understanding of the molecular mechanisms of neuropathology in bovine species. Additional studies on larger number of animals are in progress in our laboratory to investigate the roles of these DE genes in pathogenesis of BSE.
The Antarctic krill Euphausia superba is a keystone species in the Antarctic food chain. Not only is it a significant grazer of phytoplankton, but it is also a major food item for charismatic megafauna such as whales and seals and an important Southern Ocean fisheries crop. Ecological data suggest that this species is being affected by climate change and this will have considerable consequences for the balance of the Southern Ocean ecosystem. Hence, understanding how this organism functions is a priority area and will provide fundamental data for life history studies, energy budget calculations and food web models.
The influence of rumen microbial structure and functions on host physiology remains poorly understood. This study aimed to investigate the interaction between the ruminal microflora and the host by correlating bacterial diversity with fermentation measurements and feed efficiency traits, including dry matter intake, feed conversion ratio, average daily gain, and residual feed intake, using culture-independent methods. Universal bacterial partial 16S rRNA gene products were amplified from ruminal fluid collected from 58 steers raised under a low-energy diet and were subjected to PCR-denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis (DGGE) analysis. Multivariate statistical analysis was used to relate specific PCR-DGGE bands to various feed efficiency traits and metabolites. Analysis of volatile fatty acid profiles showed that butyrate was positively correlated with daily dry matter intake (P < 0.05) and tended to have higher concentration in inefficient animals (P = 0.10), while isovalerate was associated with residual feed intake (P < 0.05). Our results suggest that particular bacteria and their metabolism in the rumen may contribute to differences in host feed efficiency under a low-energy diet. This is the first study correlating PCR-DGGE bands representing specific bacteria to metabolites in the bovine rumen and to host feed efficiency traits.
Cattle are often fed high concentrate (HC) diets to increase productivity, although HC diets cause changes in ruminal environment such as pH reduction. Despite those well-documented changes in cattle fed HC diets, there is currently a paucity of data describing the molecular events regulating the ruminal environment. Our objective was to gain an understanding of which genes are differentially expressed in ruminal tissue from Holstein cows fed a HC comparing to low concentrate (LC) diet using microarray analysis using a bovine 24 k microarray. A total of 5,200 differentially expressed genes (DEG) were detected for cows fed HC relative to LC. The DEG were firstly annotated with gene ontology (GO) and Kyoto encyclopedia of Genes and Genomes (KEGG), indicating that the DEG were associated with catalytic activity and MAPK pathway, respectively. Further characterization using GeneCodis identified patterns of interrelated annotations for the DEG to elucidate the relationships among annotation groups revealed that a cAMP-dependent protein kinase A catalytic subunit beta (PRKACB), may be associated with ruminal tissue maintenance. The results contributed to understanding of the regulatory mechanisms at the mRNA level for Holstein cows fed at different concentrate ratio diets.
Biochemical and biophysical research tools are used to define the developmental dynamics of numerous cell lineages from a variety of tissues relevant to meat quality. With respect to the adipose cell lineage, much of our present understanding of adipogenesis and lipid metabolism was initially determined through the use of these methods, even though the in vitro or molecular environments are far removed from the tissues of meat animals. This concise review focuses on recent cellular and molecular biology-related research with adipocytes, and how the research might be extended to the endpoint of altering red meat quality. Moreover, economic and policy impacts of such in animal production regimens is discussed. These issues are important, not only with respect to palatability, but also to offer enhanced health benefits to the consumer by altering content of bioactive components in adipocytes.
MicroRNAs (miRNAs), a family of small non-coding RNA molecules, appear to regulate animal lipid metabolism and preadipocyte conversion to form lipid-assimilating adipocytes (i.e. adipogenesis). However, no miRNA to date has been reported to modulate adipogenesis and lipid deposition in beef cattle.
Understanding ruminal methanogens is essential for greenhouse gas mitigation, as well as for improving animal performance in the livestock industry. It has been speculated that ruminal methanogenic diversity affects host feed efficiency and results in differences in methane production. This study examined methanogenic profiles in the rumen using culture-independent PCR-denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis (PCR-DGGE) analysis for 56 beef cattle which differed in feed efficiency, as well as diet (the cattle were fed a low-energy diet or a high-energy diet). The methanogenic PCR-DGGE profiles detected were greatly affected by diet, and the major pattern changed from a community containing predominantly Methanobrevibacter ruminantium NT7 with the low-energy diet to a community containing predominantly Methanobrevibacter smithii, Methanobrevibacter sp. AbM4, and/or M. ruminantium NT7 with the high-energy diet. For each diet, the methanogenic PCR-DGGE pattern was strongly associated with the feed efficiency of the host. Diet-associated bands for Methanobrevibacter sp. AbM4 and M. smithii SM9 and a feed efficiency-related band for M. smithii PS were identified. The abundance of total methanogens was estimated by determining the numbers of copies of the 16S rRNA genes of methanogens. However, the size of the methanogen population did not correlate with differences in feed efficiency, diet, or metabolic measurements. Thus, the structure of the methanogenic community at the species or strain level may be more important for determining host feed efficiency under different dietary conditions.
Low reprogramming efficiency and reduced pluripotency have been the two major obstacles in induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cell research. An effective and quick method to assess the pluripotency levels of iPS cells at early stages would significantly increase the success rate of iPS cell generation and promote its applications. We have identified a conserved imprinted region of the mouse genome, the Dlk1-Dio3 region, which was activated in fully pluripotent mouse stem cells but repressed in partially pluripotent cells. The degree of activation of this region was positively correlated with the pluripotency levels of stem cells. A mammalian conserved cluster of microRNAs encoded by this region exhibited significant expression differences between full and partial pluripotent stem cells. Several microRNAs from this cluster potentially target components of the polycomb repressive complex 2 (PRC2) and may form a feedback regulatory loop resulting in the expression of all genes and non-coding RNAs encoded by this region in full pluripotent stem cells. No other genomic regions were found to exhibit such clear expression changes between cell lines with different pluripotency levels; therefore, the Dlk1-Dio3 region may serve as a marker to identify fully pluripotent iPS or embryonic stem cells from partial pluripotent cells. These findings also provide a step forward toward understanding the operating mechanisms during reprogramming to produce iPS cells and can potentially promote the application of iPS cells in regenerative medicine and cancer therapy.
The fat components of red meat products have been of interest to researchers due to the health aspects of excess fat consumption by humans. We hypothesized that differences in protein expression have an impact on adipose tissue formation during beef cattle development and growth. Therefore, in this study we evaluated the differences in the discernable proteome of subcutaneous adipose tissues of 35 beef crossbred steers [Charolais x Red Angus (CHAR) (n = 13) and Hereford x Angus (HEAN) (n = 22)] with different back fat (BF) thicknesses. The goal was to identify specific protein markers that could be associated with adipose tissue formation in beef cows.
Cattle with high feed efficiencies (designated "efficient") produce less methane gas than those with low feed efficiencies (designated "inefficient"); however, the role of the methane producers in such difference is unknown. This study investigated whether the structures and populations of methanogens in the rumen were associated with differences in cattle feed efficiencies by using culture-independent methods. Two 16S rRNA libraries were constructed using approximately 800-bp amplicons generated from pooled total DNA isolated from efficient (n = 29) and inefficient (n = 29) animals. Sequence analysis of up to 490 randomly selected clones from each library showed that the methanogenic composition was variable: less species variation (22 operational taxonomic units [OTUs]) was detected in the rumens of efficient animals, compared to 27 OTUs in inefficient animals. The methanogenic communities in inefficient animals were more diverse than those in efficient ones, as revealed by the diversity indices of 0.84 and 0.42, respectively. Differences at the strain and genotype levels were also observed and found to be associated with feed efficiency in the host. No difference was detected in the total population of methanogens, but the prevalences of Methanosphaera stadtmanae and Methanobrevibacter sp. strain AbM4 were 1.92 (P < 0.05) and 2.26 (P < 0.05) times higher in inefficient animals, while Methanobrevibacter sp. strain AbM4 was reported for the first time to occur in the bovine rumen. Our data indicate that the methanogenic ecology at the species, strain, and/or genotype level in the rumen may play important roles in contributing to the difference in methane gas production between cattle with different feed efficiencies.
The most likely route of entry of infection following oral exposure to transmissible spongiform encephalopathies (TSE) is via the immunologically active Peyers patches (PP). These secondary lymphoid organs appear to be the potential route for prion neuroinvasion. However, the molecular mechanisms involved in the uptake of the infectious prion agent and progression of disease remain still unclear. This investigation examined the changes in gene expression in PP following oral exposure of cattle to bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) agents. The gene expression patterns in PP from cows 12 mo after BSE challenge were compared with controls using a microarray platform containing 24,000 oligonucleotides representing 16,846 unique gene loci and 5943 Expressed Sequence Tag (EST) from bovine genome. Between the challanged and control animals, 90 genes and 16 EST were identified as significantly differentially, expressed (>2.0-fold change): 36 were upregulated and 70 were downregulated. Of these genes, five were found to be related to immune function. Major histocompatibility complex (MHC) class II, MHC class II DQ alpha, L-RAP, and two hypothetical proteins. Differentially expressed genes related to cellular and metabolic processes including development and maturation of cells in the PP were also identified. In this context, the potential impacts of these gene expression changes in PP on BSE development are discussed.
MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are a family of approximately 22 nucleotide small RNA molecules which regulate gene expression by fully or partially binding to their complementary sequences in mRNAs or promoters. A large number of miRNAs and their expression patterns have been reported in human, mouse and rat. However, miRNAs and their expression patterns in live stock species such as beef cattle are not well studied.
Prion diseases or transmissible spongiform encephalopathies (TSEs) are infectious neurodegenerative disorders leading to death. These include Cresutzfeldt-Jakob disease (CJD), familial, sporadic and variant CJD and kuru in humans; and animal TSEs include scrapie in sheep, bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) in cattle, chronic wasting disease (CWD) of mule deer and elk, and transmissible mink encephalopathy. All these TSEs share common pathological features such as accumulation of mis-folded prion proteins in the central nervous system leading to cellular dysfunction and cell death. It is important to characterize the molecular pathways and events leading to prion induced neurodegeneration. Here we discuss the impact of the functional genomics approaches including microarrays, subtractive hybridization and microRNA profiling in elucidating transcriptional cascades at different stages of disease. Many of these transcriptional changes have been observed in multiple neurodegenerative diseases which may aid in identification of biomarkers for disease. A comprehensive characterization of expression profiles implicated in neurodegenerative disorders will undoubtedly advance our understanding on neuropathology and dysfunction during prion disease and other neurodegenerative disorders. We also present an outlook on the future work which may focus on analysis of structural genetic variation, genome and transcriptome sequencing using next generation sequencing with an integrated approach on animal and human TSE related studies.
MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are small noncoding RNAs that regulate gene expression post-transcriptionally in a wide range of biological processes. The zebra finch (Taeniopygia guttata), an oscine songbird with characteristic learned vocal behavior, provides biologists a unique model system for studying vocal behavior, sexually dimorphic brain development and functions, and comparative genomics.
Haploids and double haploids are important resources for studying recessive traits and have large impacts on crop breeding, but natural haploids are rare in animals. Mammalian haploids are restricted to germline cells and are occasionally found in tumours with massive chromosome loss. Recent success in establishing haploid embryonic stem (ES) cells in medaka fish and mice raised the possibility of using engineered mammalian haploid cells in genetic studies. However, the availability and functional characterization of mammalian haploid ES cells are still limited. Here we show that mouse androgenetic haploid ES (ahES) cell lines can be established by transferring sperm into an enucleated oocyte. The ahES cells maintain haploidy and stable growth over 30?passages, express pluripotent markers, possess the ability to differentiate into all three germ layers in vitro and in vivo, and contribute to germlines of chimaeras when injected into blastocysts. Although epigenetically distinct from sperm cells, the ahES cells can produce viable and fertile progenies after intracytoplasmic injection into mature oocytes. The oocyte-injection procedure can also produce viable transgenic mice from genetically engineered ahES cells. Our findings show the developmental pluripotency of androgenentic haploids and provide a new tool to quickly produce genetic models for recessive traits. They may also shed new light on assisted reproduction.
Vascular calcification significantly increases cardiovascular morbidity and mortality. We recently reported that the deficiency of cartilage oligomeric matrix protein (COMP) leads to vascular mineralization. We characterized the COMP-degrading metalloproteinase, a disintegrin and metalloproteinase with thrombospondin motifs-7 (ADAMTS-7). Here, we tested whether ADAMTS-7 facilitates vascular calcification.
Failing cardiomyocytes exhibit decreased efficiency of excitation-contraction (E-C) coupling. The downregulation of junctophilin-2 (JP2), a protein anchoring the sarcoplasmic reticulum to T-tubules, has been identified as a major mechanism underlying the defective E-C coupling. However, the regulatory mechanism of JP2 remains unknown.
MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are a class of molecular regulators found to participate in numerous biological processes, including adipogenesis in mammals. This study aimed to evaluate the differences of miRNA expression between bovine subcutaneous (backfat) and visceral fat depots (perirenal fat) and the dietary effect on miRNA expression in these fat tissues.
In order to determine differences in the ruminal bacterial community and host Toll-like receptor (TLR) gene expression of beef cattle with different susceptibility to acidosis, rumen papillae and content were collected from acidosis-susceptible (AS, n=3) and acidosis-resistant (AR, n=3) steers. The ruminal bacterial community was characterized using PCR-denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis (PCR-DGGE) and quantitative real time PCR (qRT-PCR) analysis. Global R analysis of bacterial profile similarity revealed that bacterial diversity was significantly different between AR and AS groups for both rumen content (P=0.001) and epithelial (P=0.002) communities. The copy number of total bacterial 16S rRNA genes in content of AS steers was 10-fold higher than that of AR steers, and the copy number of total 16S rRNA genes of epimural bacteria in AR steers was positively correlated with ruminal pH (r=0.59, P=0.04), and negatively correlated with total VFA concentration (r=-0.59, P=0.05). The expressions of host TLR2 and 4 genes were significantly higher in AR steers compared to those in AS steers. These findings enhance our understanding about the ruminal microbial ecology and host gene expression changes that may be useful in the prevention of ruminal acidosis.
A loop-mediated isothermal amplification (LAMP) assay was developed for detection of bovine parvovirus (BPV) DNA. Four primers were designed to recognize six distinct regions on the target DNA based on a highly conserved sequence in the VP2 region of the BPV genome. The optimized LAMP reaction conditions were 8 mM Mg²?, 1.2 mM betaine, and an incubation at 63°C for 45 min. After amplification the products were detected either by observing a ladder pattern following gel electrophoresis, observation of turbidity, or a color change with the addition of SYBR Green I to the reaction tube. The detection limit of the LAMP assay was 9 copies of BPV-DNA and was 100 times more sensitive than conventional PCR. A ladder pattern of bands after gel electrophoresis was observed for only BPV isolates and showed that the BPV LAMP assay was highly specific without any cross-reactivity with other related viruses. The LAMP assay was evaluated further using 59 field samples and the results were comparable to conventional PCR. The LAMP assay is a simple, rapid and economic detection method; it can provide a useful technique suitable for detection of BPV infection in both field conditions and laboratory settings.
Chronic wasting disease (CWD) is an invariably fatal neurologic disease that naturally infects mule deer, white tailed deer and elk. The understanding of CWD neurodegeneration at a molecular level is very limited. In this study, microarray analysis was performed to determine changes in the gene expression profiles in six different tissues including brain, midbrain, thalamus, spleen, RPLN and tonsil of CWD-infected elk in comparison to non-infected healthy elk, using 24,000 bovine specific oligo probes. In total, 329 genes were found to be differentially expressed (> 2.0-fold) between CWD negative and positive brain tissues, with 132 genes upregulated and 197 genes downregulated. There were 249 DE genes in the spleen (168 up- and 81 downregulated), 30 DE genes in the retropharyngeal lymph node (RPLN) (18 up- and 12 downregulated), and 55 DE genes in the tonsil (21 up- and 34 downregulated). Using Gene Ontology (GO), the DE genes were assigned to functional groups associated with cellular process, biological regulation, metabolic process, and regulation of biological process. For all brain tissues, the highest ranking networks for DE genes identified by Ingenuity Pathway Analysis (IPA) were associated with neurological disease, cell morphology, cellular assembly and organization. Quantitative real-time PCR (qRT-PCR) validated the expression of DE genes primarily involved in different regulatory pathways, including neuronal signaling and synapse function, calcium signaling, apoptosis and cell death and immune cell trafficking and inflammatory response. This is the first study to evaluate altered gene expression in multiple organs including brain from orally infected elk and the results will improve our understanding of CWD neurodegeneration at the molecular level.
Crohns disease recurrence after an ileocecal resection is common; yet, its pathophysiology is poorly understood and available treatment is suboptimal. The purpose of this study was to examine the bacterial, local, and systemic immune changes that follow ileocolonic anastomosis in a rodent model of Crohns disease, the interleukin-10 gene-deficient (IL-10 null) mice.
The primary aim of this study was to determine regional and age-dependent expression patterns of Toll-like receptors (TLRs), peptidoglycan recognition protein 1 (PGLYRP1), and ?-defensin in rumen, jejunum, ileum, cecum and colon of 3 week (n=8) and 6 month old (n=8) calves. The expression of most TLRs was significantly down-regulated throughout the gastrointestinal tract (GIT) with increasing age. TLR10 expression was significantly higher in ileum than all other gut regions, irrespective of age. TLR2 and TLR4 expression were significantly higher in the cecum and colon of 6 month old calves. Furthermore, expression of ?-defensin, and PGLYRP1 was only detectable in 6 month old calves. The expression of TLRs was positively or negatively correlated with population of total bacteria and/or lactic acid bacteria depending on the GIT region. These observations indicate that innate immune responses to commensal microflora may vary significantly throughout the GIT and with age changes.
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