Transcriptome profiling of the antiviral immune response in Atlantic cod macrophages

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A study was conducted to determine the transcriptome response of Atlantic cod (Gadus morhua) macrophages to the viral mimic, polyriboinosinic polyribocytidylic acid (pIC), using a 20K Atlantic cod microarray platform and qPCR. We identified 285 significantly up-regulated and 161 significantly down-regulated probes in cod macrophages 24 h after pIC stimulation. A subset of 26 microarray-identified transcripts was subjected to qPCR validation using samples treated with pIC or phosphate-buffered saline (control) over time (3, 6, 12, 24, 48 h), and 77% of them showed a significant response to pIC. The microarray and qPCR analyses in this study showed that pIC induced the expression of cod macrophage transcripts involved in RLR- and TLR-dependent pathogen recognition (e.g. tlr3, tlr7, mda5 and lgp2), as well as signal transducers (e.g. stat1 and nfkbia) and transcription activators (e.g. irf7 and irf10) in the MyD88-independent and dependent signalling pathways. Several immune effectors (e.g. isg15s, viperin, herc4, mip2 and ccl13) were significantly up-regulated in pIC-stimulated cod macrophages. The expression of some transcripts (e.g. irf7, irf10, viperin) was significantly up-regulated by pIC as early as 12 h. All pIC-induced transcripts had peak expression at either 24 h (e.g. tlr7, irf7, mip2) or 48 h (e.g. tlr3, lgp2, stat1). This study suggests possible roles of both vertebrate-conserved (e.g. tlr3 as an up-regulated gene) and fish-specific (tlr22g as a down-regulated gene) receptors in dsRNA recognition, and the importance of conserved and potentially fish-specific interferon stimulated genes in cod macrophages.

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