Associations of weight gain and food intake with leukocyte sub-sets in Large White pigs
ABSTRACT Associations between productivity and a range of immune traits were tested by multiple regression analysis on 128 Large White pigs (62 male, 66 female). Daily weight gain, daily feed intake, and efficiency (i.e. weight gain/feed intake), assessed from 14 to 24 weeks of age, were the productivity traits. Total and differential white blood cell count and leukocyte sub-sets positive for CD4, CD8, CD11R1, gamma delta T cells, B cell, and monocyte markers, all measured at 18 and 24 weeks, were the immune traits. At 24 weeks of age, higher percentages of monocytes were associated with a decrease in daily weight gain. Higher percentages of B cells were associated with a decrease in daily feed intake. Higher percentages of CD11R1 positive cells were associated with a decrease in daily weight gain and a decrease in efficiency. Relationships at the age of 18 weeks were similar, but slightly less significant. Associations between the numbers of monocytes, MIL-4 positive cells and B cells and certain performance traits were also observed at the age of 24 weeks. Overall, these results indicate an association between productivity and certain immune traits. We suggest that the observed associations between these immune traits and performance could be due to the impact of sub-clinical infections.
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ABSTRACT: During infection, the acute phase response triggers the release of acute phase proteins (APP), alpha-(1) acid glycoprotein (AGP), serum amyloid A (SAA) and Pig-MAP into the circulation, accompanied by a decrease in plasma levels of transthyretin. We quantified the association between these APP in 26 apparently healthy pigs from two breeds, 13 Large White and 13 Meishan (16 male; 10 female). There was a significant correlation between plasma levels of haptoglobin and Pig-MAP (r=0.57; p<0.05), but no significant associations between any of the other APP tested. We also measured the relationship between PigMAP, transthyretin and SAA, and the proportions of peripheral blood mononuclear sub-sets, CD8(+) cells, CD4(+) cells, CD11R1(+) cells, MHC DQ(+) cells, and monocytes. There were correlations between both plasma levels of Pig-MAP and the proportion of monocytes (r=0.55; p<0.05) and plasma levels of transthyretin and the proportion of MHC DQ(+) cells (r=0.40; p<0.01). Breed and sex influenced plasma levels of Pig-MAP but not plasma levels of transthyretin. Overall, these results suggest closer links between the mechanisms that regulate the release haptoglobin, Pig-MAP and monocytes compared to those that regulate the release of AGP, SAA and transthyretin.Veterinary Immunology and Immunopathology 10/2007; 119(3-4):303-9. · 1.88 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: There is a need for genetic markers or biomarkers that can predict resistance towards a wide range of infectious diseases, especially within a health environment typical of commercial farms. Such markers also need to be heritable under these conditions and ideally correlate with commercial performance traits. In this study, we estimated the heritabilities of a wide range of immune traits, as potential biomarkers, and measured their relationship with performance within both specific pathogen-free (SPF) and non-SPF environments. Immune traits were measured in 674 SPF pigs and 606 non-SPF pigs, which were subsets of the populations for which we had performance measurements (average daily gain), viz. 1549 SPF pigs and 1093 non-SPF pigs. Immune traits measured included total and differential white blood cell counts, peripheral blood mononuclear leucocyte (PBML) subsets (CD4+ cells, total CD8alpha+ cells, classical CD8alphabeta+ cells, CD11R1+ cells (CD8alpha+ and CD8alpha-), B cells, monocytes and CD16+ cells) and acute phase proteins (alpha-1 acid glycoprotein (AGP), haptoglobin, C-reactive protein (CRP) and transthyretin). Nearly all traits tested were heritable regardless of health status, although the heritability estimate for average daily gain was lower under non-SPF conditions. There were also negative genetic correlations between performance and the following immune traits: CD11R1+ cells, monocytes and the acute phase protein AGP. The strength of the association between performance and AGP was not affected by health status. However, negative genetic correlations were only apparent between performance and monocytes under SPF conditions and between performance and CD11R1+ cells under non-SPF conditions. Although we cannot infer causality in these relationships, these results suggest a role for using some immune traits, particularly CD11R1+ cells or AGP concentrations, as predictors of pig performance under the lower health status conditions associated with commercial farms.Genetics Selection Evolution 01/2009; 41:54. · 3.49 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Indicator traits used to select pigs for increased resistance to infection or improved health must be heritable and, preferably, be associated with improved performance. We estimated the heritability of a range of immune traits and their genetic and phenotypic correlations with growth performance. We measured immune traits on 589 pigs and performance on 1941 pigs from six farms, three of which were classified as 'high health status' (i.e. specific pathogen-free) and three were of lower health status. All pigs were apparently healthy. Immune traits were total white blood cells (WBC), and peripheral blood mononuclear leucocyte (PBML) subsets positive for CD4, CD8α, gamma delta (γδ) T cell receptor, CD11R1 (natural killer cell marker), B cell and monocyte markers at the start and the end of standard growth performance tests. At both time points, all immune traits were moderately to highly heritable except for CD8α+ cells. At end of test, heritability estimates (h2) (±s.e.) were 0.18 (±0.11) for total WBC count. For PBML subset proportions, the heritabilities were 0.52 (±0.14) for γδ TCR+ cells, 0.62 (±0.14) for CD4+ cells, 0.44 (±0.14) for CD11R1+ cells, 0.58 (±0.14) for B cells and 0.59 (±0.14) for monocytes. Farm health status affected the heritabilities for WBC, being substantially higher on lower health status farms, but did not have consistent effects on heritabilities for the PBML subsets. There were significant negative genetic correlations between numbers and proportions of various PBML subsets and performance, at both start and end of test. In particular, the proportion of PBML cells that were CD11R1+ cells, at end of test, was strongly correlated with daily gain (rg = -0.72; P < 0.01). There were also weaker but significant negative phenotypic correlations between PBML subsets measured at end of test and performance, for γδ+ T cells, CD8α+, CD11R1+ cells, B cells or monocytes. Phenotypic correlations with daily gain were generally lower at the start of test than at the end of test. These results show that most of the major pig PBML subsets are heritable, and that systemic levels of several of these PBML subsets are genetically negatively correlated with performance. This approach provides a basis for using immune trait markers when selecting boars that can produce higher-performing progeny.animal 11/2008; 2(11):1575-84. · 1.65 Impact Factor