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Expression of avian β-defensin mRNA in the chicken yolk sac

Zhang, Haihan, Wong, Eric A.
Developmental and comparative immunology 2019
chick embryos, chickens, embryogenesis, epithelial cells, gene expression, genes, heterophils, immune response, in situ hybridization, innate immunity, messenger RNA, nutrient uptake, peptides, yolk sac
The chicken yolk sac (YS) plays an important role in nutrient absorption and immune function for the developing embryo. The avian β-defensins (AvBD) are cationic peptides that are important members of the innate immune system. The objective of this study was to profile AvBD mRNA expression patterns and distribution of cells expressing AvBD mRNA in the chicken YS. Expression of AvBD1, 2, 7, and 10 mRNA was low at embryonic day 7 (e7), increased to e9 through e13 and then declined to e19. Using in situ hybridization, AvBD10 mRNA was found to be expressed in endodermal epithelial cells, while AvBD1, 2, and 7 mRNA were expressed in heterophils. The developmental expression pattern and distribution of AvBD mRNA in the YS reveals the importance of these genes to protection of the developing chick embryo.