Yang, X.-q., Wang, L., Li, H.-t. and Liu, D. 2015. Immune responses of porcine airway epithelial cells to poly(I:C), a synthetic analogue of viral double-stranded RNA. Can. J. Anim. Sci. 95: 13-20. Swine respiratory disease (SRD) is one of the most economically important diseases affecting the pig industry. The main infectious agents that cause SRD are viruses, but the molecular pathogenesis of viral SRD has not been extensively studied. Here, using digital gene expression tag profiling, the global transcriptional responses to poly(I:C), a synthetic analogue of viral double-stranded RNA, was analyzed in porcine airway epithelial cells (PAECs). The profiling analysis revealed numerous differentially expressed genes (DEGs), including unknown sequences in the porcine nucleotide databases. Gene ontology enrichment analysis showed that DEGs were mainly enriched in response to stress (GO: 0006950), of which, defense response is one sub-process. Poly(I:C) challenge induced a general inflammation response as indicated by marked upregulation of a variety of pathogen recognition receptors, interferon-stimulated genes, proinflammatory cytokines, and chemokines, together with the significant downregulation of anti-inflammatory molecules. Furthermore, the antiapoptotic pathway was triggered, as demonstrated by the significant suppression of molecules involved in the induction of apoptosis, together with the significant stimulation of putative inhibitor of apoptosis. The results indicate that PAECs initiated defense against poly(I:C) challenge through the inflammation responses, whereas poly(I:C) can utilize antiapoptotic pathway to evade host defense.
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