Submitted to: Veterinary Immunology and Immunopathology
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 3/1/2005
Publication Date: 5/1/2005
Citation: Coussens, P.M., Pudrith, C.B., Skovgaard, K., Xiaoning, R., Suchyta, S.P., Stabel, J.R., Heegaard, P.M. 2005. Johne's disease in cattle is associated with enhanced expression of genes encoding IL-5, GATA-3, tissue inhibitors of matrix metalloproteinases 1 and 2, and factors promoting apoptosis in peripheral blood mononuclear cells. Veterinary Immunology and Immunopathology. 105(3-4)221-234.
Interpretive Summary: Interpretive summary for Coussens et al paper (Vet Immunol Immunopathol) Johne's disease is a chronic, debilitating intestinal disorder in cattle characterized by diarrhea, reduced feed intake, weight loss and death. Cattle usually become infected as young calves by ingesting feces containing the causative bacteria. However, symptoms of disease do not usually present themselves until the animals reach 3 to 5 years of age or even older. During this time the animal is infected and may be shedding the organism in its feces without showing any clinical signs of disease. In addition to reduced milk production by these animals, they also present a potential infective threat to the rest of the herd. Johne’s disease is difficult to diagnose and therefore to control. Development of accurate and sensitive diagnostic tests is dependent upon understanding the immune responses of the host animal during infection. This paper presents data on the expression of genes by T cells of infected animals and compares the results with gene expression by T cells from noninfected control cows to determine if certain genes are affected by disease. Further work on host immunity will lead to better understanding of the pathogenesis of disease and aid in new preventative and therapeutic regimes.
Technical Abstract: Infection of ruminants with Mycobacterium avium subspecies paratuberculosis (M. paratuberculosis) leads to a chronic and often fatal granulomatous enteritis known as Johne's disease. Most infections with M. paratuberculosis occur during the first 6 months of life, and there is some evidence for transmission in utero. Once established, infections typically exist in a subclinical state for several years. Recent gene-expression profiling studies suggested the hypothesis that inherent gene-expression profiles in peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) from M. paratuberculosis-infected cattle may be different than expression profiles in PBMCs from uninfected controls. If true, this would suggest that it is possible to identify an M. paratuberculosis infection “signature” through transcriptional profiling of peripheral immune cells. In addition, identification of groups or classes of genes showing inherently different expression in PBMCs from M. paratuberculosis-infected cattle relative to PBMCs from uninfected controls might highlight important interactions between this pathogen and the host immune system. In this report, we describe studies aimed at testing this hypothesis. Our novel results indicate that, indeed expression profiles of at least 42 genes are inherently different in freshly isolated PBMCs from M. paratuberculosis-infected cattle when compared to similar cells from uninfected controls. Gene-expression differences observed following microarray analysis were verified and expanded upon by quantitative real-time PCR (Q-RT-PCR). Our results indicate that T cells within PBMCs from M. paratuberculosis-infected cows have adopted a predominant Th 2-like phenotype (enhanced expression of IL-5, GATA 3, and possibly IL-4 mRNA), that cells within infected cow PBMCs may exhibit tissue remodeling deficiencies through higher expression of tissue inhibitor of matrix metalloproteinase (TIMP) 1 and TIMP2 RNA and lower expression of matrix metalloproteinase (MMP) 14 RNA than similar cells from healthy controls, and that cells within the PBMC population of M. paratuberculosis-infected cows are likely poised for rapid apoptosis (upregulation of CIDE-A, Bad, TNFRI, and Fas).