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RNA-Seq-Based Gene Expression Pattern and Morphological Alterations in Chick Thymus during Postnatal Development.


ABSTRACT: The thymus is a lobulated unique lymphoid immune organ that plays a critical role in the selection, development, proliferation, and differentiation of T cells. The thymus of developing chickens undergoes continued morphological alterations; however, the biomolecular and transcriptional dynamics of the postnatal thymus in avian species is not clear yet. Therefore, the thymuses from chickens at different stages of development (at weeks 0, 1, 5, 9, 18, and 27) were used in the present study. The RNA-seq method was used to study the gene expression patterns. On average, 24120819 clean reads were mapped, differentially expressed genes (DEGs) were identified on the basis of log values (fold change), including 744 upregulated and 425 downregulated genes. The expression pattern revealed by RNA-seq was validated by quantitative real-time PCR (qPCR) analysis of four important genes, which are PCNA, CCNA2, CCNB2, and CDK1. Thus, the current study revealed that during postnatal development, the thymus undergoes severe atrophy. Thymus structure was damaged and gene expression changed dramatically, especially at the 27th week of age. Moreover, we found significant changes of several signaling pathways such as the cytokine-cytokine receptor interaction and cell cycle signaling pathways. Hence, it may be inferred that those signaling pathways might be closely related to the postnatal chicken thymus development.

SUBMITTER: Xue Z 

PROVIDER: S-EPMC6501151 | BioStudies | 2019-01-01

REPOSITORIES: biostudies

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