Quantification of camelid cytokine mRNA expression in PBMCs by microfluidic qPCR technology
Camelids are economically and socially important in several parts of the world and might carry pathogens with epizootic or zoonotic potential. However, biological research in these species is limited due to lack of reagents. Here, researchers developed RT-qPCR assays to quantify a panel of camelid innate and adaptive immune response genes, which can be monitored in a single run. The assays were validated with PHA, PMA-ionomycin, and Poly I:C-stimulated PBMCs from alpaca, dromedary camel and llama, including normalization by multiple reference genes. Further, comparative gene expression analyses for the different camelid species were performed by a unique microfluidic qPCR assay. Compared to unstimulated controls, PHA and PMA-ionomycin stimulation elicited robust Th1 and Th2 responses in PBMCs from camelid species. Additional activation of type I and type III IFN signalling pathways was described exclusively in PHA-stimulated dromedary lymphocytes, in contrast to those from alpaca and llama. Researchers also found that PolyI:C stimulation induced robust antiviral response genes in alpaca PBMCs. The proposed methodology should be useful for the measurement of immune responses to infection or vaccination in camelid species.