Image_4_Global Transcriptome Profiling of Multiple Porcine Organs Reveals Toxoplasma gondii-Induced Transcriptional Landscapes.TIF

We characterized the porcine tissue transcriptional landscapes that follow Toxoplasma gondii infection. RNAs were isolated from liver, spleen, cerebral cortex, lung, and mesenteric lymph nodes (MLNs) of T. gondii-infected and uninfected (control) pigs at days 6 and 18 postinfection, and were analyzed using next-generation sequencing (RNA-seq). T. gondii altered the expression of 178, 476, 199, 201, and 362 transcripts at 6 dpi and 217, 223, 347, 119, and 161 at 18 dpi in the infected brain, liver, lung, MLNs and spleen, respectively. The differentially expressed transcripts (DETs) were grouped into five expression patterns and 10 sub-clusters. Gene Ontology enrichment and pathway analysis revealed that immune-related genes dominated the overall transcriptomic signature and that metabolic processes, such as steroid biosynthesis, and metabolism of lipid and carboxylic acid, were downregulated in infected tissues. Co-expression network analysis identified transcriptional modules associated with host immune response to infection. These findings not only show how T. gondii infection alters porcine transcriptome in a tissue-specific manner, but also offer a gateway for testing new hypotheses regarding human response to T. gondii infection.