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Synthetic CpG-ODN rapidly enriches immune compartments in neonatal chicks to induce protective immunity against bacterial infections.

ABSTRACT: Oligodeoxynucleotides containing CpG motifs (CpG-ODN) induce innate immunity against bacterial infections. Despite recent advances, how CpG-ODN alone protects against bacterial infections remained elusive. Here, we report for the first time, to our knowledge, that CpG-ODN orchestrates anti-microbial protective immunity by inducing a rapid enrichment of various immune compartments in chickens. In this study, eighteen-day-old embryonated eggs were injected with either 50?µg of CpG-ODN or saline (~n?=?90 per group). In the first experiment, four days after CpG-ODN treatment, chicks were challenged subcutaneously with a virulent strain of Escherichia coli (E. coli) and mortality was monitored for 8 days. We found significant protection, and reduced clinical scores in CpG-ODN treated chicks. To gain insights into mechanisms of protection induced by CpG-ODN, first we investigated cytokine expression kinetics elicited by CpG-ODN. The spleen and lung were collected from embryos or chicks (n?=?3-4 per group) at 10 time points post-CpG-ODN inoculation. Multiplex gene analysis (interleukin (IL)-1, IL-4, IL-6, IL-10, IL-18, interferon (IFN)-?, IFN-?, and lipopolysaccharide induced tumor necrosis factor (LITAF), revealed a significantly higher expression of pro-inflammatory cytokines following CpG-ODN treatment compared to the saline controls. In our study, LITAF stands out in the cytokine profiles of spleen and lungs, underscoring its role in CpG-ODN-induced protection. The third experiment was designed to examine the effects of CpG-ODN on immune cell populations in spleen, lungs, and thymus. Flow cytometry analysis was conducted at 24, 48 and 72?hrs (thymus only collected at 72?hr) after CpG-ODN administration to examine the changes in CD4+ and CD8+ T-cell subsets, monocyte/macrophage cell populations and their expression of maturation markers (CD40 and CD86). Flow cytometry data indicated a significant enrichment of macrophages, CD4+ and CD8+ T-cell subsets in both spleen and lungs of CpG-ODN treated embryos and chicks. Macrophages in spleen and lungs showed an upregulation of CD40 but not CD86, whereas thymocytes revealed significantly high CD4 and CD8 expression. Overall, the present study has demonstrated that CpG-ODN provides protection in neonatal chicks against E. coli infection not only by eliciting cytokine responses and stimulating immune cells but also through enriching immunological niches in spleen and lungs.

SUBMITTER: Gunawardana T 

PROVIDER: S-EPMC6344490 | BioStudies | 2019-01-01

REPOSITORIES: biostudies

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