Research Papers:

Activation of epithelial proliferation induced by Eimeria acervulina infection in the duodenum may be associated with cholesterol metabolism

Lili Sun _, Haibo Dong, Zhenchao Zhang, Jie Liu, Yun Hu, Yingdong Ni, Roland Grossmann and Ruqian Zhao

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Oncotarget. 2016; 7:27627-27640. https://doi.org/10.18632/oncotarget.8490

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Lili Sun1, Haibo Dong1, Zhenchao Zhang2, Jie Liu1, Yun Hu1, Yingdong Ni1, Roland Grossmann3, Ruqian Zhao1

1Key Laboratory of Animal Physiology and Biochemistry, Ministry of Agriculture, Nanjing Agricultural University, Nanjing 210095, China

2Department of Veterinary Parasitic Disease, College of Veterinary Medicine, Nanjing Agricultural University, Nanjing 210095, China

3Department of Functional Genomics and Bioregulation, Institute of Animal Genetics, FLI, Mariensee, Neustadt a Rbg, Germany

Correspondence to:

Yingdong Ni, e-mail: [email protected]

Keywords: cell proliferation, cholesterol, coccidial infection, small intestine, miRNAs

Received: December 04, 2015    Accepted: March 18, 2016    Published: March 30, 2016


Cell proliferation in the intestine is commonly occurred during infection and inflammation to replace damaged enterocytes, and cholesterol as an essential constituent of cell membrane, is required for cell proliferation and growth. Here we found that coccidium-challenged (CC) chickens showed severe damages in intestinal structure, a significant increase of cell proliferation, and an activation of genes expression involved in the innate immune response. Compared to control (CON), CC chickens showed a marked decrease of cholesterol (Tch) level in the circulating system, but a significant increase in local duodenum epithelium. Increase of LDLR protein combined with a significant decrease of CYP27A1 protein expression in duodenum epithelium may contribute to intestinal cholesterol accumulation in CC chickens. Moreover, we found miRNAs targeting to CYP27A1 gene participating in post-transcriptional regulation. Hence, these results provide a new insight for the intervention of epithelial proliferation and cholesterol metabolism in the gastrointestinal tracts.

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