Impact of HVT Vaccination on Splenic miRNA Expression in Marek's Disease Virus Infections.


Department of Animal Science, North Carolina State University, Raleigh, NC 27695, USA. [Email]


Marek's Disease is a lymphoproliferative disease of chickens caused by Marek's Disease Virus. Similar to other herpesviruses, Marek's Disease Virus (MDV) encodes its own small non-coding regulatory RNAs termed microRNAs (miRNAs). We previously found that the expression profile of these viral miRNAs is affected by vaccination with Herpesvirus of Turkeys (HVT). To further characterize miRNA-mediated gene regulation in MDV infections, in the current study we examine the impact of HVT vaccination on cellular miRNA expression in MDV-infected specific-pathogen-free (SPF) chickens. We used small RNA-seq to identify 24 cellular miRNAs that exhibited altered splenic expression in MDV infected chickens (42 dpi) compared to age-matched uninfected birds. We then used Real Time-quantitative PCR (RT-qPCR) to develop expression profiles of a select group of these host miRNAs in chickens receiving the HVT vaccine and in vaccinated chickens subsequently infected with MDV. As was seen with viral miRNA, host miRNAs had unique splenic expression profiles between chickens infected with HVT, MDV, or co-infected birds. We also discovered a group of transcription factors, using a yeast one-hybrid screen, which regulates immune responses and cell growth pathways and also likely regulates the expression of these cellular miRNAs. Overall, this study suggests cellular miRNAs are likely a critical component of both protection from and progression of Marek's Disease.


Marek’s disease virus,microRNA,transcriptional regulation,

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