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Upregulation of gut cathepsin L during Eimeria tenella infection

Abstract : Coccidiosis is a disease caused by Eimeria, which represents the first parasitic disease in poultry farming. Among them, E. tenella is a virulent species which specifically colonizes the caecum. The inflammatory response to infection is associated to numerous host proteases including cysteine cathepsins that can be deleterious for tissue and innate immunity integrity. Here, germ-free and conventional chickens were used as models to find out whether the microbiota could modify the intestinal expression of host cysteine cathepsins during coccidiosis. The basal caecal peptidase activity primarily relies on host proteases rather than proteases from the commensal flora. While mRNA levels of E. tenella cathepsins B and L remained unchanged in germ-free and conventional broilers, an overall increase in endopeptidase activity of cysteine cathepsins was found in E. tenella-infected caeca in both experimental models (P < 0.005). A significant decrease in avian cystatin C transcription was also observed in infected conventional, but not in infected germ-free broilers. Despite an unchanged mRNA level of avian cathepsin L (CatL), its protein expression raised following infection, in parallel with an increased transcription of antimicrobial β-defensins (AvBD1, AvBD2, AvBD4, AvBD6, and AvBD7). Taken together, data support that host CatL is post-translationally upregulated during E. tenella infection, and thus may be involved in the alteration of the gut proteolytic balance. Furthermore, CatL may participate to inflammation occurring during coccidiosis through its known ability to proteolytically inactivates up-regulated avian β-defensins that are key molecules of innate immunity.
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https://hal.inrae.fr/hal-03331820
Contributor : Nathalie Katy Chanteloup <>
Submitted on : Thursday, September 2, 2021 - 10:47:55 AM
Last modification on : Friday, September 3, 2021 - 3:38:45 AM

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Ahlame Saidi, Pauline Gaboriaud, Anne-Christine Lalmanach, Lise Vanderlynden, Aurélie Fessard, et al.. Upregulation of gut cathepsin L during Eimeria tenella infection. Research in Veterinary Science, Elsevier, 2021, 140, pp.109-116. ⟨10.1016/j.rvsc.2021.08.013⟩. ⟨hal-03331820⟩

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