2019 Volume 56 Issue 4 Pages 298-307
The aim of this study was to examine whether Salmonella enteritidis (SE) vaccination affects innate immune function and histone modifications responsible for epigenetic reprogramming in the follicular theca of laying hens. White Leghorn laying hens were administered the SE vaccine or phosphate buffered saline (PBS; control) one week before sample collection. The largest follicles (F1) were collected for total RNA and histone protein extraction. Gene expression levels of immune molecules (Toll-like receptors [TLRs], cytokines, and avian β-defensins [AvBDs]), and histone modifications in the follicular thecal tissues, were examined using real-time PCR and western blot, respectively. The results showed that the expression levels of TLR1-1, 2-1, 4, and 15 were upregulated by SE vaccination. Although vaccination caused no significant change in cytokine expression, AvBDl, 2, 4, and 7 expression levels were significantly upregulated in the vaccinated group. In addition, the relative density of histone H3-lysine9 dimethylation (H3K9me2) was increased by the vaccination. These results suggest that SE vaccination enhances innate immune functions in the ovary of laying hens, including upregulating TLR and AvBD expression, and is also associated with an increase in histone H3K9me2 in thecal cells.