Genome wide transcriptomic analysis identifies pathways affected by the infusion of Clostridium perfringens culture supernatant in the duodenum of broilers in situ

S. Athanasiadou*, K. M. Russell, P. Kaiser, T. Kanellos, S. T G Burgess, M. Mitchell, E. Clutton, S. W. Naylor, C. J. Low, M. R. Hutchings, N. Sparks

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Clostridium perfringens type A is the main etiological factor for necrotic enteritis, a multifactorial enteric disease that penalizes performance, health, and welfare of poultry. Lack of knowledge of host responses and disease pathogenesis is slowing down progress on developing therapies for disease control. A combined genomewide and targeted gene approach was used to investigate pathways and biological functions affected by the infusion of C. perfringens culture supernatant in the duodenum of broilers in 2 experiments. An in situ isolated loop of duodenum was prepared in anesthetized broilers of 3 wk of age (Exp. 1) and was infused either with crude C. perfringens culture supernatant (n = 7; treated), positive for necrotic enteritis B-like toxin (NetB) as determined by a cytotoxicity assay, or with a control preparation (n = 6; control). Birds were maintained alive for 1 h and then euthanized for tissue recovery. The use of the Affymetrix chicken genome array on RNA samples from loop tissue showed top biological functions affected by culture supernatant infusion included cell morphology, immune cell trafficking, and cell death; pathways affected included death receptor signaling, inflammatory response, and nuclear factor (NF)-κB signaling. In a second in situ study (Exp. 2), broilers were maintained alive for 4 h to monitor temporal expression patterns of targeted genes. Duodenal tissue was removed at 0.5, 1, 2, and 4 h post-infusion with culture supernatant (n = 9) or a control preparation (n = 5) for histology and gene expression analysis. Genes encoding proinflammatory cytokines, such as interferon γ (IFNγ), cell trafficking, such as neuroblastoma 1 (NBL1) and B cell CLL/Lymphoma 6 (BCL6), and cell death, such as Fas cell surface death receptor (FAS) and GTPase IMAP family member 8 (GIMAP8), were differentially expressed in the duodenum of treated and control broilers (P <0.05). We have demonstrated that C. perfringens culture supernatant (NetB positive) infusion resulted in histological and gene expression changes consistent with necrotic enteritis in the duodenum of broilers. In the absence of live bacteria, crude culture supernatant resulted in early immunomodulation, inflammation, and cell death in the duodenum. The pathways identified here can be targeted for the development of new drugs, vaccines, and novel therapies for necrotic enteritis in broilers.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3152-3163
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Animal Science
Volume93
Issue number6
Early online date15 May 2015
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 15 May 2015

Keywords

  • Broiler chickens
  • Clostridium perfringens
  • In situ
  • Ligated loop model
  • Necrotic enteritis
  • Transcriptome

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