Acute phase proteins and biomarkers for health in chickens

O'Reilly, Emily Louise (2016) Acute phase proteins and biomarkers for health in chickens. PhD thesis, University of Glasgow.

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Acute phase proteins (APPs) are proteins synthesised predominantly in the liver, whose plasma concentrations increase (positive APP) or decrease (negative APP) as a result of infection, inflammation, trauma and tissue injury. They also change as a result of the introduction of immunogens such as bacterial lipopolysaccharide (LPS), turpentine and vaccination. While publications on APPs in chickens are numerous, the limited availability of anti-sera and commercial ELISAs has resulted in a lot of information on only a few APPs.
Disease is a threat to the poultry industry, as pathogens have the potential to evolve, spread and cause rapid onset of disease that is detrimental to the welfare of birds. Low level, sub-acute disease with non-specific, often undiagnosed causes can greatly affect bird health and growth and impact greatly on productivity and profitability. Developing and validating methods to measure and characterise APPs in chickens will allow these proteins to be used diagnostically for monitoring flock health. Using immune parameters such as APPs that correlate with disease resistance or improvements in production and welfare will allow the use of APPs as selection parameters for breeding to be evaluated.
For APPs to be useful parameters on which to evaluate chicken health, information on normal APP concentrations is required. Ceruloplasmin (Cp) and PIT54 concentrations were found to be much lower in healthy birds form commercial production farms than the reported normal values obtained from the literature. These APPs were found to be significantly higher in culled birds from a commercial farm and Cp, PIT54 and ovotransferrin (Ovt) were significantly higher in birds classified as having obvious gait defects.
Using quantitative shotgun proteomics to identify the differentially abundant proteins between three pools: highly acute phase (HAP), acute phase (AP) and non-acute phase (NAP), generated data from which a selection of proteins, based on the fold difference between the three pools was made. These proteins were targeted on a individual samples alongside proteins known to be APPs in chickens or other species: serum amyloid A (SAA), C-reactive protein (CRP), Ovt, apolipoprotein A-I (apo-AI), transthyretin (Ttn), haemopexin (Hpx) and PIT54.
Together with immunoassay data for SAA, Ovt, alpha-1-acid glycoprotein (AGP) and Cp the results of this research reveal that SAA is the only major APP in chickens. Ovotransferrin and AGP behave as moderate APPs while PIT54 and Cp are minor APPs. Haemopexin was not significantly different between the three acute phase groups. Apolipoprotein AI and Ttn were significantly lower in the HAP and AP groups and as such can be classed as negative APPs.
In an effort to identify CRP, multiple anti-sera cross reacting with CRP from other species were used and a phosphorylcholine column known to affinity purify CRP were used. Enriched fractions containing low molecular weight proteins, elutions from the affinity column together with HAP, AP and NAP pooled samples were applied to a Q-Exactive Hybrid Quadrupole–Orbitrap mass spectrometer (Thermo Scientific) for Shotgun analysis and CRP was not identified. It would appear that CRP is not present as a plasma protein constitutively or during an APR in chickens and as such is not an APP in this species.
Of the proteins targeted as possible novel biomarkers of the APR in chickens mannan binding lectin associated serine protease-2, α-2-HS-glycoprotein (fetuin) and major facilitator superfamily domain-containing protein 10 were reduced in abundance in the HAP group, behaving as negative biomarkers. Myeloid protein and putative ISG(12)2 were positively associated with the acute phase being significantly higher in the HAP and AP groups. The protein cathepsin D was significantly higher in both HAP and AP compared to the NAP indicating that of all the proteins targeted, this appears to have the most potential as a biomarker of the acute phase, as it was significantly increased in the AP as well as the HAP group.
To evaluate APPs and investigate biomarkers of intestinal health, a study using re-used poultry litter was undertaken. The introduction of litter at 12 days of age did not significantly increase any APPs measured using immunoassays and quantitative proteomics at 3, 6 and 10 days post introduction. While no APP was found to be significantly different between the challenged and control groups at anytime point, the APPs AGP, SAA and Hpx did increase over time in all birds. The protein apolipoprotein AIV (apo-AIV) was targeted as a possible APP and because of its reported role in controlling satiety. An ELISA was developed, successfully validated and used to measure apo-AIV in this study. While no significant differences in apo-AIV plasma concentrations between challenged and control groups were identified apo-AIV plasma concentrations did change significantly between certain time points in challenged and control groups. Apoliporotein AIV does not appear to behave as an APP in chickens, as it was not significantly different between acute phase groups. The actin associated proteins villin and gelsolin were investigated as possible biomarkers of intestinal health. Villin was found not to be present in the plasma of chickens and as such not a biomarker target. Gelsolin was found not to be differentially expressed during the acute phase or as a result of intestinal challenge. Finally a proteomic approach was undertaken to investigate gastrocnemius tendon (GT) rupture in broiler chickens with a view of elucidating to and identify proteins associated with risk of rupture. A number of proteins were found to be differentially expressed between tendon pools and further work would enable further detailing of these findings.
In conclusion this work has made a number of novel findings and addressed a number of data poor areas. The area of chicken APPs research has stagnated over the last 15 years with publications becoming repetitive and reliant on a small number of immunoassays. This work has sought to characterise the classic APPs in chickens, and use a quantitative proteomic approach to measure and categorise them. This method was also used to take a fresh approach to biomarker identification for both the APR and intestinal health. The development and validation of assays for Ovt and apo-AIV and the shotgun data mean that these proteins can be further characterised in chickens with a view of applying their measurement to diagnostics and selective breeding programs.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Qualification Level: Doctoral
Keywords: Chicken, acute, phase, protein, biomarker.
Subjects: Q Science > Q Science (General)
S Agriculture > SF Animal culture > SF600 Veterinary Medicine
Colleges/Schools: College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > Institute of Biodiversity Animal Health and Comparative Medicine
Funder's Name: Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC)
Supervisor's Name: Eckersall, Professor Peter David
Date of Award: 2016
Depositing User: Dr. Emily O'Reilly
Unique ID: glathesis:2016-7428
Copyright: Copyright of this thesis is held by the author.
Date Deposited: 15 Jun 2016 09:20
Last Modified: 14 Jul 2016 13:09

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