Olsen, Helle G3; Skovgaard, Kerstin1; Nielsen, Ole L3; Leifsson, Páll S.3; Jensen, Henrik E.3; Iburg, Tine3; Heegaard, Peter M. H.1
1 National Veterinary Institute, Technical University of Denmark2 Section for Immunology and Vaccinology, National Veterinary Institute, Technical University of Denmark3 University of Copenhagen
Serum amyloid A (SAA) is a prominent acute phase protein. Although its biological functions are debated, the wide species distribution of highly homologous SAA proteins and their uniform behavior in response to injury or inflammation in itself suggests a significant role for this protein. The pig is increasingly being used as a model for the study of inflammatory reactions, yet only little is known about how specific SAA genes are regulated in the pig during acute phase responses and other responses induced by pro-inflammatory host mediators. We designed SAA gene specific primers and quantified the gene expression of porcine SAA1, SAA2, SAA3, and SAA4 by reverse transcriptase quantitative polymerase chain reaction (RT-qPCR) in liver, spleen, and lung tissue from pigs experimentally infected with the Gram-negative swine specific bacterium Actinobacillus pleuropneumoniae, as well as from pigs experimentally infected with the Gram-positive bacterium Staphylococcus aureus. Our results show that: 1) SAA1 may be a pseudogene in pigs; 2) we were able to detect two previously uncharacterized SAA transcripts, namely SAA2 and SAA4, of which the SAA2 transcript is primarily induced in the liver during acute infection and presumably contributes to circulating SAA in pigs; 3) Porcine SAA3 transcription is induced both hepatically and extrahepatically during acute infection, and may be correlated to local organ affection; 4) Hepatic transcription of SAA4 is markedly induced in pigs infected with A. pleuropneumoniae, but only weakly in pigs infected with S. aureus. These results for the first time establish the infection response patterns of the four porcine SAA genes which will be of importance for the use of the pig as a model for human inflammatory responses, e.g. within sepsis, cancer, and obesity research.