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Vet Immunol Immunopathol. 2010 Jun 15;135(3-4):218-25. doi: 10.1016/j.vetimm.2009.11.015. Epub 2009 Dec 5.

Expression profiling reveals differences in immuno-inflammatory gene expression between the two disease forms of sheep paratuberculosis.

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The Roslin Institute, Royal (Dick) School of Veterinary Studies, University of Edinburgh, Summerhall, Edinburgh EH9 1QH, UK.


Paratuberculosis is a chronic enteropathy of ruminants caused by Mycobacterium avium subspecies paratuberculosis (MAP); infection of sheep results in two disease forms - paucibacillary (tuberculoid) and multibacillary (lepromatous) associated with the differential polarization of the immune response. In addition the majority of MAP-infected animals show no pathology and remain asymptomatic. Microarray and real-time RT-qPCR analyses were used to compare gene expression in ileum from sheep with the two disease forms and asymptomatic sheep, to further understand the molecular basis of the pathologies. Microarrays identified 36 genes with fold-change of >1.5 and P< or = 0.05 in at least one comparison; eight candidates were chosen for RT-qPCR validation. Sequence analysis of two candidates, CXCR4 and IGFBP6, identified three SNPs in each; five were found in all three forms of disease and showed no significant relationship to pathological type. The IGFBP6 G(3743) A SNP was not detected in asymptomatic sheep. The data show that the two forms of disease are associated with distinct molecular profiles highlighted by the differential expression of chemokine and chemokine receptor transcripts, the protein products of which might be implicated in the different cell infiltrates of the pathologies. The cells within the lesions also show evidence of abnormal activation; they express high levels of cytokine transcripts but have reduced expression levels of transcripts for T cell receptor associated molecules.

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