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Macrophages from Susceptible and Resistant Chicken Lines have Different Transcriptomes following Marek’s Disease Virus Infection

The Roslin Institute and R(D)SVS, University of Edinburgh, Easter Bush, Midlothian EH25 9RG, UK
Chittagong Veterinary and Animal Sciences University, Khulshi, Chittagong 4225, Bangladesh
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Genes 2019, 10(2), 74;
Received: 13 November 2018 / Revised: 10 January 2019 / Accepted: 21 January 2019 / Published: 22 January 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Genomics of Avian Viral Infections)
PDF [2632 KB, uploaded 28 January 2019]


Despite successful control by vaccination, Marek’s disease (MD) has continued evolving to greater virulence over recent years. To control MD, selection and breeding of MD-resistant chickens might be a suitable option. MHC-congenic inbred chicken lines, 61 and 72, are highly resistant and susceptible to MD, respectively, but the cellular and genetic basis for these phenotypes is unknown. Marek’s disease virus (MDV) infects macrophages, B-cells, and activated T-cells in vivo. This study investigates the cellular basis of resistance to MD in vitro with the hypothesis that resistance is determined by cells active during the innate immune response. Chicken bone marrow-derived macrophages from lines 61 and 72 were infected with MDV in vitro. Flow cytometry showed that a higher percentage of macrophages were infected in line 72 than in line 61. A transcriptomic study followed by in silico functional analysis of differentially expressed genes was then carried out between the two lines pre- and post-infection. Analysis supports the hypothesis that macrophages from susceptible and resistant chicken lines display a marked difference in their transcriptome following MDV infection. Resistance to infection, differential activation of biological pathways, and suppression of oncogenic potential are among host defense strategies identified in macrophages from resistant chickens. View Full-Text
Keywords: chickens; Marek’s disease virus; disease resistance; macrophages; RNA-seq chickens; Marek’s disease virus; disease resistance; macrophages; RNA-seq

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Chakraborty, P.; Kuo, R.; Vervelde, L.; Dutia, B.M.; Kaiser, P.; Smith, J. Macrophages from Susceptible and Resistant Chicken Lines have Different Transcriptomes following Marek’s Disease Virus Infection. Genes 2019, 10, 74.

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