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Cell-Autonomous Sex Differences in Gene Expression in Chicken Bone Marrow-Derived Macrophages

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http://www.jimmunol.org/content/early/2015/01/30/jimmunol.1401982
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2338-2344
JournalJournal of Immunology
Volume194
Issue number5
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 30 Jan 2015

Abstract

We have identified differences in gene expression in macrophages grown from the bone marrow of male and female chickens in recombinant chicken M-CSF (CSF1). Cells were profiled with or without treatment with bacterial LPS for 24 h. Approximately 600 transcripts were induced by prolonged LPS stimulation to an equal extent in the male and female macrophages. Many transcripts encoded on the Z chromosome were expressed ∼1.6-fold higher in males, reflecting a lack of dosage compensation in the homogametic sex. A smaller set of W chromosome-specific genes was expressed only in females. LPS signaling in mammals is associated with induction of type 1 IFN-responsive genes. Unexpectedly, because IFNs are encoded on the Z chromosome of chickens, unstimulated macrophages from the female birds expressed a set of known IFN-inducible genes at much higher levels than male cells under the same conditions. To confirm that these differences were not the consequence of the actions of gonadal hormones, we induced gonadal sex reversal to alter the hormonal environment of the developing chick and analyzed macrophages cultured from male, female, and female sex-reversed embryos. Gonadal sex reversal did not alter the sexually dimorphic expression of either sex-linked or IFN-responsive genes. We suggest that female birds compensate for the reduced dose of inducible IFN with a higher basal set point of IFN-responsive genes.

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