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ARS Home » Northeast Area » Beltsville, Maryland (BHNRC) » Beltsville Human Nutrition Research Center » Diet, Genomics and Immunology Laboratory » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #223752

Title: The Suitability of Swine as Models for Humans to Assess the Effect of Nutrition on Immunity

item Dawson, Harry
item Reece, Joshua
item Chen, Celine
item Urban, Joseph

Submitted to: International Symposium: Swine And Biomedical Research
Publication Type: Proceedings
Publication Acceptance Date: 4/2/2008
Publication Date: 4/2/2008
Citation: Dawson, H.D., Reece, J.J., Chen, C.T., Urban Jr, J.F. 2008. The suitability of swine as models for humans to assess the effect of nutrition on immunity. International Symposium: Swine And Biomedical Research. p.48.

Interpretive Summary:

Technical Abstract: It is generally accepted that the pig is a good model for human nutritional studies. Much less is known about the relative similarities between the two species in terms of the immune response. A literature and laboratory-based analysis was conducted comparing 185 parameters associated with genotype, phenotype, and functional expression of the porcine, murine, and human immune systems. Post-genomic analysis found about 300 unique mRNA coding sequences between mice and humans with approximately 100 related to immunity. To date, we, and others, have identified 43 porcine immune-related genes not found in rodents but found in humans. A limited number of genes present in rodents and pigs, but not in humans, and genes absent in pigs, but found in rodents and humans, were discovered. The structure and functional expression of pattern recognition receptors including C-type lectins, CCR3, and CCR4 binding chemokines, and members of the chitinase family that are involved in allergic responses are more similar between pigs and humans. The phenotype of many immune cells, including alternatively activated macrophages and T regulatory cells, are also more similar between pigs and humans compared to rodents. Pigs are naturally susceptible to infection with species of helminths that are closely related or identical to those infecting humans (Ascaris, Taenia, Trichuris, Trichinella, Shistosoma, Strongyloides) indicating functionally similar host characteristics. Overall, approximately 65% of the parameters examined were more similar between pigs and humans, suggesting that evaluating immune function, particularly in response to nutritional manipulation in pigs, provides data that is more physiologically relevant to humans.