RNA sequencing-based analysis of the spleen transcriptome following infectious bronchitis virus infection of chickens selected for different mannose-binding lectin serum concentrations

  • Edin Hamzić (Contributor)
  • Rikke B. Kjærup (Contributor)
  • Núria Mach (Contributor)
  • Guilietta Minozzi (Contributor)
  • Francesco Strozzi (Contributor)
  • Valentina Gualdi (Contributor)
  • John L. Williams (Contributor)
  • Chen Jun (Contributor)
  • Eva Wattrang (Contributor)
  • Bart Buitenhuis (Contributor)
  • Helle R. Juul-Madsen (Contributor)
  • Tina S. Dalgaard (Contributor)



Abstract Background Avian infectious bronchitis is a highly contagious disease of the upper-respiratory tract caused by infectious bronchitis virus (IBV). Understanding the molecular mechanisms involved in the interaction between innate and adaptive immune responses to IBV infection is a crucial element for further improvements in strategies to control IB. To this end, two chicken lines, selected for high (L10H line) and low (L10L line) serum concentration of mannose-binding lectin (MBL) were studied. In total, 32 birds from each line were used. Sixteen birds from each line were infected with IBV and sixteen were left uninfected. Eight uninfected and infected birds from each line were euthanized at 1 and 3 weeks post infection. RNA sequencing was performed on spleen samples from all 64 birds and differential gene expression analysis was performed for four comparisons: L10L line versus L10H line for uninfected birds at weeks 1 and 3, respectively, and in the same way for infected birds. Functional analysis was performed using Gene Ontology (GO) Immune System Process terms specific for Gallus gallus. Results Comparing uninfected L10H and L10L birds, we identified 1698 and 1424 differentially expressed (DE) genes at weeks 1 and 3, respectively. For the IBV-infected birds, 1934 and 866 DE genes were identified between the two lines at weeks 1 and 3, respectively. The two most enriched GO terms emerging from the comparison of uninfected birds between the two lines were “Lymphocyte activation involved in immune response” and “Somatic recombination of immunoglobulin genes involved in immune response” at weeks 1 and 3, respectively. When comparing IBV-infected birds between the two lines, the most enriched GO terms were “Alpha-beta T cell activation” and “Positive regulation of leukocyte activation” at weeks 1 and 3, respectively. Conclusions Healthy birds from the two lines showed significant differences in expression profiles for subsets of adaptive and innate immunity-related genes, whereas comparison of the IBV-infected birds from the two lines showed differences in expression of immunity-related genes involved in T cell activation and proliferation. The observed transcriptome differences between the two lines indicate that selection for MBL had influenced innate as well as adaptive immunity.
Date made available1 Jan 2016

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