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Röll, Susanne; Härtle, Stefan; Lütteke, Thomas; Kaspers, Bernd and Härtle, Sonja (2017): Tissue and time specific expression pattern of interferon regulated genes in the chicken. In: BMC Genomics 18:264 [PDF, 1MB]

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BACKGROUND: Type I interferons are major players against viral infections and mediate their function by the induction of Interferon regulated genes (IRGs). Recently, it became obvious that these cytokines have a multitude of additional functions. Due to the unique features of the chickens' immune system, available data from mouse models are not easily transferable; hence we performed an extensive analysis of chicken IRGs. RESULTS: A broad database search for homologues to described mammalian IRGs (common IRGs, cIRGs) was combined with a transcriptome analysis of spleen and lung at different time points after application of IFNalpha. To apply physiological amounts of IFN, half-life of IFN in the chicken was determined. Interestingly, the calculated 36 min are considerably shorter than the ones obtained for human and mouse. Microarray analysis revealed many additional IRGs (newly identified IRGs; nIRGs) and network analysis for selected IRGs showed a broad interaction of nIRGs among each other and with cIRGs. We found that IRGs exhibit a highly tissue and time specific expression pattern as expression quality and quantity differed strongly between spleen and lung and over time. While in the spleen for many affected genes changes in RNA abundance peaked already after 3 h, an increasing or plateau-like regulation after 3, 6 and 9 h was observed in the lung. CONCLUSIONS: The induction or suppression of IRGs in chickens is both tissue and time specific and beside known antiviral mechanisms type I IFN induces many additional cellular functions. We confirmed many known IRGs and established a multitude of so far undescribed ones, thus providing a large database for future research on antiviral mechanisms and additional IFN functions in non-mammalian species.

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