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ARS Home » Midwest Area » Ames, Iowa » National Animal Disease Center » Ruminant Diseases and Immunology Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #349406

Research Project: Identification of Disease Mechanisms and Control Strategies for Viral Respiratory Pathogens of Ruminants

Location: Ruminant Diseases and Immunology Research

Title: Immunomediator expression profiling in two beluga whale (delphinapterus leucas) clinical cases

item Hofstetter, Amelia
item VAN BONN, WILLIAM - John G Shedd Aquarium
item Sacco, Randy

Submitted to: Meeting Abstract
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 5/4/2018
Publication Date: N/A
Citation: N/A

Interpretive Summary: Quantitative real-time PCR (qPCR) can be used to quantify gene expression levels in blood cells. qPCR has been used to analyze cytokine gene expression in beluga whales. Here, we used qPCR to compare immunomediators, including cytokines and chemokines, between beluga whales facing an immune challenge and healthy companions at two aquaria. The results demonstrate that at least four cytokines vary in expression between the whales with an immune challenge and their healthy counterparts. This indicates that qPCR might supplement clinical data obtained from routine blood draws, thereby providing veterinary staff with information on immune status.

Technical Abstract: Cytokines and other immunomediators can be biomarkers of inflammation. Quantitative real-time PCR (qPCR) has been used to examine cytokine gene expression in beluga whale (Delphinapterus leucas) peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMC). Thus, qPCR-based immunomediator assays could supplement clinical data from routine blood draws, revealing altered immune status. We compared immunomediator expression between beluga whales facing immune challenges and healthy companions at two aquaria. In both case studies, mitogens stimulated increased IL-1beta, Cox2 and TNF-alpha message in PBMC from the abnormal whale over the control, but decreased IL-10 mRNA. This supports further elucidation of beluga PBMC immunomediator profiles for use as immune biomarkers.