Gene expression profiles of hair and wool sheep reveal importance of Th2 immune mechanisms for increased resistance to.


Management of gastrointestinal parasites is a critical issue for sheep producers worldwide. Increases in the prevalence of drug-resistant worms have complicated parasite control and increased economic losses. Therefore, other methods of parasite control need to be assessed, including the use of genetically resistant animals in breeding programs. Hair sheep breeds such as the St. Croix have greater parasite resistance than conventional wool breeds. However, the immune mechanisms that control parasite resistance in hair or wool breeds have not yet been fully determined, and information on cytokine expression profiles for both wool sheep selected for increased resistance and hair sheep is limited. Our objective was to investigate gene expression differences in 24 parasite-resistant hair and 24 susceptible wool sheep to identify immune effectors associated with resistance to . One-half of the lambs were infected and sacrificed at 3 or 27 d after infection. Remaining lambs were not infected. Breed differences in expression of genes associated with Th1 and Th2 immune responses in lymph nodes and abomasal tissue were determined. Th2-associated genes included IL-4, IL-13, IL-5, IgE, the α chain of the IL-4 receptor, and the α chain of the high-affinity IgE receptor (FcεRI). Th1-associated genes included interferon gamma (IFN-γ), the p35 subunit of IL-12 (IL-12 p35), and the β1 and β2 chains of the IL-12 receptor (IL-12 Rβ1 and IL-12 Rβ2, respectively). In both hair and wool sheep, infection with resulted in greater expression of IgE, IL-13, IL-5, and IL-12 p35 and somewhat reduced expression of IFNγ in lymph nodes. In abomasal tissue, parasite infection resulted in greater IgE, IL-13, FcεRI, and IL-12 p35 expression in infected lambs compared with control lambs. Between breeds, hair sheep had a stronger Th2 response after infection than wool sheep, with increased expression of IgE and IL-13 and decreased expression of IFNγ in lymph nodes and increased expression of IL-13 and decreased expression of IL-12 p35 in abomasal tissue. Expression of IL-4 in lymph nodes did not differ between hair and wool lambs, and IL-4, IL-5, IL-12 Rβ1, and IL-12 Rβ2 expression was too low to measure at the times sampled in abomasal tissue.

DOI: 10.2527/jas.2014-8652

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@article{Mackinnon2015GeneEP, title={Gene expression profiles of hair and wool sheep reveal importance of Th2 immune mechanisms for increased resistance to.}, author={Kathryn M Mackinnon and S A Bowdridge and Isis Kanevsky-Mullarky and Anne Marie Zajac and David Russell Notter}, journal={Journal of animal science}, year={2015}, volume={93 5}, pages={2074-82} }