Transcriptome-based biomarker gene screening and evaluation of the extracellular fatty acid-binding protein (Ex-FABP) on immune and angiogenesis-related genes in chicken erythrocytes of tibial dyschondroplasia


Abstract Background Tibial dyschondroplasia (TD) is a bone disorder in which dead chondrocytes accumulate as a result of apoptosis and non-vascularization in the tibial bone of broiler chickens. The pathogenicity of TD is under extensive research but is yet not fully understood. Several studies have linked it to apoptosis and non-vascularization in the tibial growth plate (GP). We conceived the idea to find the differentially expressed genes (DEGs) in chicken erythrocytes which vary in expression over time using a likelihood-ratio test (LRT). Thiram was used to induce TD in chickens, and then injected Ex-FABP protein at 0, 20, and 50 μg.kg-1 to evaluate its therapeutic effect on 30 screened immunity and angiogenesis-related genes using quantitative PCR (qPCR). The histopathology was also performed in TD chickens to explore the shape, circularity, arrangements of chondrocytes and blood vessels. Results Clinical lameness was observed in TD chickens, which decreased with the injection of Ex-FABP. Histopathological findings support Ex-FABP as a therapeutic agent for the morphology and vascularization of affected chondrocytes in TD chickens. qPCR results of 10 immunity (TLR2, TLR3, TLR4, TLR5, TLR7, TLR15, IL-7, MyD88, MHCII, and TRAF6) and 20 angiogenesis-related genes (ITGAV, ITGA2, ITGB2, ITGB3, ITGA5, IL1R1, TBXA2R, RPL17, F13A1, CLU, RAC2, RAP1B, GIT1, FYN, IQGAP2, PTCH1, NCOR2, VAV-like, PTPN11, MAML3) regulated when Ex-FABP is injected to TD chickens. Conclusion Immunity and angiogenesis-related genes can be responsible for apoptosis of chondrocytes and vascularization in tibial GP. Injection of Ex-FABP protein to thiram induced TD chickens decrease the chondrocytes damage and improves vascularization.

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