Evaluation of differentially expressed immune-related genes in intestine ofPelodiscus sinensisafter intragastric challenge with lipopolysaccharide based on transcriptome analysis

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Pelodiscus sinensis is the most common turtle species that has been raised in East and Southeast Asia. However, there are still limited studies about the immune defense mechanisms in its small intestine until now. In the present research, histological analysis and transcriptome analysis was performed on the small intestine of P. sinensis after intragastric challenge with LPS to explore its mechanisms of immune responses to pathogens. The result showed the number of intraepithelial lymphocytes (IELs) and goblet cells (GCs) in its intestine increased significantly at 48 h post-challenge with LPS by intragastrical route, indicating clearly the intestinal immune response was induced. Compared with the control, a total of 748 differentially expressed genes (DEGs) were identified, including 361 up-regulated genes and 387 down-regulated genes. Based on the Gene Ontology (GO) annotation and the Kyoto Encyclopedia of Genes and Genomes (KEGG), 48 immune-related DEGs were identified, which were classified into 82 GO terms and 14 pathways. Finally, 18 DEGs, which were randomly selected, were confirmed by quantitative real-time PCR (qRT-PCR). Our results provide valuable information for further analysis of the immune defense mechanisms against pathogens in the small intestine of P. sinensis.

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