Genomic dissection of mucosal immunobiology in the porcine small intestine

Cheryl M.T. Dvorak, Geoffrey N. Hirsch, Kendra A. Hyland, Julie A. Hendrickson, Beth S. Thompson, Mark S. Rutherford, Michael P. Murtaugh

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Scopus citations


The enteric immune system of swine protects against infectious and noninfectious environmental insults and discriminates ingested nutrients, food, and commensal microflora from pathogenic agents. The molecular and cellular elements of the immune system have been selected over evolutionary time in response to the specific environment of pigs. Thus, models of immune function based on mouse and human need to be applied cautiously in the pig. To better understand how the mucosal immune system of the small intestine accomplishes the conflicting functions of food tolerance and immunity to enteric infection, we used a genomic approach to profile gene expression in the Peyer's patch. More than 40% of mRNA enriched by differential subtraction for Peyer's patch-specific expressed sequences represented genes of unknown function or had no match in GenBank. Microarray analysis and radiation hybrid mapping validated their porcine origin and provided additional insights into putative functions. The abundance of expressed genes of unknown function indicates that a substantial fraction of the immunological and physiological processes of the Peyer's patch remains to be discovered. It further suggests that swine have evolved specialized biochemical and immunological processes in the small intestine. Further elucidation of these processes are expected to provide novel insights into swine enteric mucosal immune function.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)5-14
Number of pages10
JournalPhysiological genomics
Issue number1
StatePublished - Dec 13 2006


  • Enteric system
  • Gene expression
  • Gut-associated lymphoid tissue
  • Mucosal immunity
  • Salmonella
  • Swine


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