Mucosal Expression of T Cell Gene Variants Is Associated with Differential Resistance to Teladorsagia circumcincta

Hazel Wilkie, Louise Nicol, Anton Gossner, John Hopkins

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract / Description of output

Resistance of sheep to the gastrointestinal nematode Teladorsagia circumcincta is a heritable characteristic. Control of parasite colonization and egg production is strongly linked to IgA antibody levels regulated by Th2 T cell activation within lymphoid tissue; and persistently-infected susceptible animals develop an inflammatory Th1/Th17 response within the abomasum that fails to control infection. Differential T cell polarization therefore is associated with parasite resistance and/or susceptibility and is controlled by a specific set of transcription factors and cytokine receptors. Transcript variants of these genes have been characterized in sheep, while in humans and mice different variants of the genes are associated with inflammatory diseases. RT-qPCR was used to quantify mucosal expression of the transcript variants of the sheep genes in trickle-infected animals with defined phenotypic traits. Genes that encode full-length GATA3 and IL17RB were shown to be significantly increased in resistant sheep that had controlled parasite infection. Expression levels of both were significantly negatively correlated with abomasal worm count (a parameter of susceptibility) and positively correlated with body weight (a parameter of resistance). These data show that polarized Th2 T cells within the abomasal mucosa play an important role in the maintenance of resistance.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere0168194
JournalPLoS ONE
Issue number12
Early online date14 Dec 2016
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 14 Dec 2016


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