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Anim Sci J. 2012 May;83(5):367-74. doi: 10.1111/j.1740-0929.2011.00980.x. Epub 2011 Nov 16.

Immunological characteristics and response to lipopolysaccharide of mouse lines selectively bred with natural and acquired immunities.

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Laboratory of Animal Breeding and Genetics, Graduate School of Agricultural Science, Tohoku University, Aoba, Sendai, Japan.


Genetic improvement of resistance to infectious diseases is a challenging goal in animal breeding. Infection resistance involves multiple immunological characteristics, including natural and acquired immunity. In the present study, we developed an experimental model based on genetic selection, to improve immunological phenotypes. We selectively established three mouse lines based on phagocytic activity, antibody production and the combination of these two phenotypes. We analyzed the immunological characteristics of these lines using a lipopolysaccharide (LPS), which is one of the main components of Gram-negative bacteria. An intense immunological reaction was induced in each of the three mouse lines. Severe loss of body weight and liver damage were observed, and a high level of cytokine messenger RNA was detected in the liver tissue. The mouse line established using a combination of the two selection standards showed unique characteristics relative to the mouse lines selected on the basis of a single phenotype. Our results indicate that genetic selection and breeding is effective, even for immunological phenotypes with a relatively low heritability. Thus, it may be possible to improve resistance to infectious diseases by means of genetic selection.

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