OBJECTIVE To identify the genetic cause for congenital photosensitivity and hyperbilirubinemia (CPH) in Southdown sheep.
ANIMALS 73 Southdown sheep from a CPH research flock and 48 sheep of various breeds from commercial flocks without CPH.
PROCEDURES Whole-genome sequencing was performed for a phenotypically normal Southdown sheep heterozygous for CPH. Heterozygous variants within Slco1b3 coding exons were identified, and exons that contained candidate mutations were amplified by PCR assay methods for Sanger sequencing. Blood samples from the other 72 Southdown sheep of the CPH research flock were used to determine plasma direct and indirect bilirubin concentrations. Southdown sheep with a plasma total bilirubin concentration < 0.3 mg/dL were classified as controls, and those with a total bilirubin concentration ≥ 0.3 mg/dL and signs of photosensitivity were classified as mutants. Sanger sequencing was used to determine the Slco1b3 genotype for all sheep. Genotypes were compared between mutants and controls of the CPH research flock and among all sheep. Protein homology was measured across 8 species to detect evolutionary conservation of Slco1b.
RESULTS A nonsynonymous mutation at ovine Chr3:193,691,195, which generated a glycine-to-arginine amino acid change within the predicted Slco1b3 protein, was significantly associated with hyperbilirubinemia and predicted to be deleterious. That amino acid was conserved across 7 other mammalian species.
CONCLUSIONS AND CLINICAL RELEVANCE Results suggested a nonsynonymous mutation in Slco1b3 causes CPH in Southdown sheep. This disease appears to be similar to Rotor syndrome in humans. Sheep with CPH might be useful animals for Rotor syndrome research.
OBJECTIVE To develop a high-resolution melting (HRM) assay to detect the g.66493737C>T polymorphism in the myostatin gene (MSTN) and determine the frequency of 3 previously defined g.66493737 genotypes (T/T, T/C, and C/C) in warmblood horses.
SAMPLES Blood samples from 23 horses.
PROCEDURES From each blood sample, DNA was extracted and analyzed by standard PCR methods and an HRM assay to determine the MSTN genotype. Three protocols (standard protocol, protocol in which a high-salt solution was added to the reaction mixture before the first melting cycle, and protocol in which an unlabeled probe was added to the reaction mixture before analysis) for the HRM assay were designed and compared. Genotype results determined by the HRM protocol that generated the most consistent melting curves were compared with those determined by sequencing.
RESULTS The HRM protocol in which an unlabeled probe was added to the reaction mixture generated the most consistent melting curves. The genotypes of the g.66493737C>T polymorphism were determined for 22 horses (16 by HRM analysis and 20 by sequencing); 14, 7, and 1 had the T/T, T/C, and C/C genotypes, respectively. The genotype determined by HRM analysis agreed with that determined by sequencing for 14 of 16 horses. The frequency of alleles T and C was 79.5% and 20.5%, respectively.
CONCLUSIONS AND CLINICAL RELEVANCE Results indicated that HRM analysis may be a faster and more economical alternative than PCR methods for genotyping. Genotyping results might be useful as predictors of athletic performance for horses.
OBJECTIVE To sequence exons and splice consensus sites of the dynactin subunit 1 (DCTN1) gene in Leonbergers and Labrador Retrievers with clinical laryngeal paralysis.
ANIMALS 5 unrelated Leonbergers with laryngeal paralysis, 2 clinically normal Leonbergers, 7 unrelated Labrador Retrievers with laryngeal paralysis, and 2 clinically normal Labrador Retrievers.
PROCEDURES Primers were designed for the entire coding regions of the DCTN1 gene, a noncoding exon at the 5´ end of the gene, and a 900-bp single-nucleotide polymorphism (SNP)-rich region located 17 kb upstream of the DCTN1 gene by use of the CanFam3 assembly of the canine genome sequence. Sequences were generated and compared between clinically normal and affected dogs. The SNPs flanking the DCTN1 gene as well as a previously identified nonsynonymous SNP in exon 32 were genotyped in affected and clinically normal Leonbergers and Labrador Retrievers.
RESULTS None of the affected dogs were homozygous for any mutation affecting coding regions or splicing consensus sequences. Of the 16 dogs tested for the missense SNP in exon 32, all were homozygous for the reference allele, except for 2 affected and 1 clinically normal Labrador Retriever and 1 clinically normal Leonberger. The DCTN1 gene sequences (5 dogs) and haplotypes of polymorphic markers surrounding the DCTN1 gene (all dogs) were not consistent with the hypothesis that laryngeal paralysis was associated with inheritance of the same DCTN1 disease-causing allele within all Labrador Retrievers or Leonbergers evaluated.
CONCLUSIONS AND CLINICAL RELEVANCE Mutations in the DCTN1 gene did not appear to cause laryngeal paralysis in Leonbergers or Labrador Retrievers.
OBJECTIVE To compare humoral insulin-like growth factor (IGF)-1, platelet-derived growth factor (PDGF)-BB, transforming growth factor (TGF)-β1, and interleukin-1 receptor antagonist (IL-1Ra) concentrations in plasma and 3 types of equine autologous blood-derived preparations (ABPs).
SAMPLE Blood and ABP samples from 12 horses.
PROCEDURES Blood samples from each horse were processed by use of commercial systems to obtain plasma, platelet concentrate, conditioned serum, and aqueous platelet lysate. Half of the platelet concentrate samples were additionally treated with a detergent to release intracellular mediators. Humoral IGF-1, PDGF-BB, TGF-β1, and IL-1Ra concentrations were measured with ELISAs and compared statistically.
RESULTS Median IGF-1 concentration was highest in conditioned serum and detergent-treated platelet concentrate, followed by platelet concentrate and plasma; IGF-1 was not detected in platelet lysate. Mean PDGF-BB concentration was highest in platelet lysate, followed by detergent-treated platelet concentrate and conditioned serum; PDGF-BB was not detected in plasma and platelet concentrate. Median TGF-β1 concentration was highest in detergent-treated platelet concentrate, followed by conditioned serum, platelet lysate, and platelet concentrate; TGF-β1 was not detected in most plasma samples. Median IL-1Ra concentration was highest in platelet lysate, followed by conditioned serum; IL-1Ra was not detected in almost all plasma, detergent-treated platelet concentrate, and platelet concentrate samples.
CONCLUSIONS AND CLINICAL RELEVANCE Each ABP had its own cytokine profile, which was determined by the specific processing method. Coagulation and cellular lysis strongly increased humoral concentrations of cell-derived cytokines. No ABP had the highest concentrations for all cytokines. Further studies are needed to assess clinical relevance of these findings.
OBJECTIVE To evaluate the effect of in ovo administration of inulin and Lactococcus lactis on immune-related gene expression in broiler chickens.
ANIMALS 45 Ross broilers.
PROCEDURES On day 12 of embryonic development, 360 eggs were equally allocated among 3 treatment groups and injected with 0.2 mL of a solution that contained 1.76 mg of inulin (prebiotic group) or 1.76 mg of inulin enriched with 1,000 CFUs of L lactis subsp lactis 2955 (synbiotic group), or they were injected with 0.2 mL of saline (0.9% NaCl) solution (control). At 1, 14, and 35 days after hatching, 5 male birds from each group were euthanized, and the spleen and cecal tonsils were harvested for determination of interleukin (IL)-4, IL-6, IL-8, IL-12p40, IL-18, cluster of differentiation 80, interferon-β, and interferon-γ expression by means of a reverse transcription quantitative PCR assay. Gene expressions in the cecal tonsils and spleens of chickens in the prebiotic and synbiotic groups were compared with those of control chickens at each tissue collection time.
RESULTS Compared with control birds, immune-related gene expression was downregulated in birds in the prebiotic and synbiotic groups, and the magnitude of that downregulation was more pronounced in the cecal tonsils than in the spleen and increased with age.
CONCLUSIONS AND CLINICAL RELEVANCE Results indicated that in ovo administration of a prebiotic or synbiotic to broilers was associated with downregulation of immune-related gene expression in the cecal tonsils and spleen. The magnitude of that downregulation increased with age and was most likely caused by stabilization of the gastrointestinal microbiota.
OBJECTIVE To characterize epithelial cells of the small intestine and colon in horses without clinical gastrointestinal abnormalities with an emphasis on the stem cell niche constituents.
SAMPLE Mucosal biopsy specimens from small and large intestines obtained from 12 horses euthanized for reasons unrelated to gastrointestinal disease or systemic disease.
PROCEDURES Intestinal biopsy specimens were collected by sharp dissection immediately following euthanasia. Specimens were prepared for immunohistochemical, immunofluorescence, and transmission electron microscopic imaging to detect and characterize each epithelial cell type. Antibodies against protein biomarkers for cellular identification were selected on the basis of expression in other mammalian species.
RESULTS Intestinal epithelial cell types were identified by means of immunostaining and morphological characterization with transmission electron microscopy. Some differences in biomarker expression and antibody cross-reactivity were identified in equine tissue, compared with other species. However, each known type of mucosal epithelial cell was identified in equine tissue.
CONCLUSIONS AND CLINICAL RELEVANCE The methodology used can enhance detection of stem cells and progenitor cells as well as postmitotic cell lineages in equine intestinal tissues. Results may have relevance to regenerative potential of intestinal mucosa and survival in horses with colic.
Objective—To determine immunomodulatory effects of synbiotics administered in ovo on immune-related gene expression in adult chickens.
Animals—30 Green-legged Partridgelike chickens.
Procedures—On incubation day 12, eggs were injected with 3 synbiotics (Lactococcus lactis subsp lactis IBB SL1 with raffinose family oligosaccharides [RFOs; S1], Lactococcus lactis subsp cremoris IBB SC1 with RFOs [S2], and Lactobacillus acidophilus and Streptococcus faecium with lactose [S3]). Control eggs were injected with RFOs prebiotic or saline (0.9% NaCl) solution. Gene expression of 6 cytokines (interleukin [IL]-4, IL-6, IL-12p40, IL-18, interferon [IFN]-β, and IFN-γ) and 1 chemokine (IL-8) was analyzed in the cecal tonsils and spleen of 6-week-old chickens by means of reverse transcription quantitative PCR assays.
Results—Gene expression for IL-4, IL-6, IFN-β, and IL-18 was significantly upregulated in the spleen of chickens in groups S2 and S3. In contrast, IL-12 expression was downregulated in group S2 and IFN-γ expression was downregulated in group S3. Expression of IL-8 did not change in chickens treated with synbiotics in ovo. Gene expression of all cytokines, except for IL-18, was downregulated in cecal tonsils.
Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—In ovo administration of synbiotics activated the immune system in adult chickens. The intestinal immune system (cecal tonsils) had downregulation of expression for the cytokines evaluated, which indicated an increase in oral tolerance, whereas in the peripheral part of the immune system (spleen), expression of IL-4 and IL-6 was upregulated. Evaluation of immune-related gene expression patterns may be useful when monitoring the effectiveness of synbiotic selection with respect to immunobiotic properties.
Objective—To evaluate the ability of small interfering RNAs (siRNAs) to inhibit in vitro viral replication and gene expression of feline coronavirus (FCoV).
Sample—Cell cultures of Crandell-Rees feline kidney cells.
Procedures—5 synthetic siRNAs that each targeted a different region of the FCoV genome were tested individually and in various combinations for their antiviral effects against 2 strains of FCoV (feline infectious peritonitis virus WSU 79-1146 and feline enteric coronavirus WSU 79-1683) in cell cultures. Tested combinations targeted the FCoV leader and 3′ untranslated region, FCoV leader region and nucleocapsid gene, and FCoV leader region, 3′ untranslated region, and nucleocapsid gene. For each test condition, assessments included relative quantification of the inhibition of intracellular viral genomic RNA synthesis by means of real-time, reverse-transcription PCR analysis; flow cytometric evaluation of the reduction of viral protein expression in infected cells; and assessment of virus replication inhibition via titration of extracellular virus with a TCID50 infectivity assay.
Results—The 5 siRNAs had variable inhibitory effects on FCoV when used singly. Combinations of siRNAs that targeted different regions of the viral genome resulted in more effective viral inhibition than did individual siRNAs that targeted a single gene. The tested siRNA combinations resulted in approximately 95% reduction in viral replication (based on virus titration results), compared with findings in negative control, nontargeting siRNA–treated, FCoV-infected cells.
Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—In vitro replication of FCoV was specifically inhibited by siRNAs that targeted coding and noncoding regions of the viral genome, suggesting a potential therapeutic application of RNA interference in treatment of feline infectious peritonitis.
Objective—To assess genomic sequence conservation and variation in the proviral promoter of enzootic nasal tumor virus (ENTV) and Jaagsiekte sheep retrovirus (JSRV) in tissue samples from 3 sheep with nasal adenocarcinoma associated with ENTV and 3 sheep with pulmonary adenocarcinoma associated with JSRV and to identify a cell culture system that supports transcriptional activity of the ENTV and JSRV viral promoters.
Animals—6 adult sheep.
Procedures—Standard PCR procedures for detection of the ENTV and JSRV long terminal repeat (LTR) promoter region were performed on samples from the 3 nasal adenocarcinomas and 3 pulmonary adenocarcinomas, respectively. The LTRs were cloned into shuttle vectors, amplified, sequenced, and analyzed. The cloned LTR regions were transferred into reporter plasmids and multiple human and ruminant cell lines, and primary cells were transfected with the promoter-reporter plasmids. The viral promoter activity was evaluated by use of an in vitro β-galactosidase reporter assay.
Results—Each isolate had a unique nucleotide sequence. Single nucleotide polymorphisms were the most common LTR mutation and rarely occurred at transcription factor binding sites. Relative to ENTV, the JSRV promoter isolates had a conserved 66-bp U3 insertion, including the lung-specific transcription factor HNF-3β binding site. Among the cell lines used, human embryonic kidney (293T) and goat synovial membrane cells supported promoter transcription.
Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—The LTRs of ENTV and JSRV have extensive blocks of sequence conservation. Human 293T and goat synovial membrane cell lines may be suitable in vitro cell culture systems for further research of viral promoter functions.
Objective—To use microarray analysis to identify genes that are differentially expressed in horses with experimentally induced osteoarthritis.
Procedures—During arthroscopic surgery, a fragment was created in the distal aspect of the radiocarpal bone in 1 forelimb of each horse to induce osteoarthritis. At day 14 after osteoarthritis induction, horses began exercise on a treadmill. Blood and synovial fluid samples were collected before and after surgery. At day 70, horses were euthanized and tissues were harvested for RNA analysis. An equine-specific microarray was used to measure RNA expression in peripheral WBCs. These data were compared with mRNA expression (determined via PCR assay) in WBCs, cartilage, and synovium as well as 2 protein biomarkers of cartilage matrix turnover in serum and synovial fluid.
Results—A metalloproteinase domain-like protein decysin-1 (ADAMDEC1), glucose-regulated protein (GRP) 94, hematopoietic cell signal transducer (HCST), Unc-93 homolog A (hUNC-93A), and ribonucleotide reductase M2 polypeptide (RRM2) were significantly differentially regulated in WBCs of horses with osteoarthritis, compared with values prior to induction of osteoarthritis. There was correlation between the gene expression profile in WBCs, cartilage, and synovium and the cartilage turnover proteins. Gene expression of ADAMDEC1, hUNC-93A, and RRM2 in WBCs were correlated when measured via microarray analysis and PCR assay.
Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Expression of ADAMDEC1, GRP94, HCST, hUNC-93A, and RRM2 was differentially regulated in peripheral WBCs obtained from horses with experimentally induced osteoarthritis. Gene expression of ADAMDEC1, hUNC-93A, and RRM2 in peripheral WBCs has the potential for use as a diagnostic aid for osteoarthritis in horses.