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Asian-Australas J Anim Sci > Accepted Articles
DOI:    [Accepted] Published online March 13, 2018.
Expression and regulation of avian beta-defensin 8 protein in immune tissues and cell lines of chickens
Deivendran Rengaraj1, Anh Duc Truong1, Hyun S Lillehoj2, Jae Yong Han3, Yeong Ho Hong1,*
1Chung-Ang University, Anseong, Korea
2United States Department of Agriculture, Beltsville, United States
3Seoul National University, Seoul, Korea
Correspondence:  Yeong Ho Hong, Tel: +82-31-670-3025, Fax: +82-31-671-3025, Email:
Received: 15 November 2017   • Revised: 18 January 2018   • Accepted: 5 March 2018
Objective: Defensins are a large family of antimicrobial peptides and components of the innate immune system that invoke an immediate immune response against harmful pathogens. Defensins are classified into alpha-, beta-, and theta-defensins. Avian species only possess beta-defensins (AvBDs), and approximately 14 AvBDs (AvBD1–AvBD14) have been identified in chickens to date. Although substantial information is available on the conservation and phylogenetics, limited information is available on the expression and regulation of AvBD8 in chicken immune tissues and cells.


We examined AvBD8 protein expression in immune tissues of White Leghorn chickens (WL) by immunohistochemistry and quantitative reverse transcription-PCR (RT-qPCR). In addition, we examined AvBD8 expression in chicken T-, B-, macrophage-, and fibroblast-cell lines and its regulation in these cells after lipopolysaccharide (LPS) treatment by immunocytochemistry and RT-qPCR.


Our results showed that chicken AvBD8 protein was strongly expressed in the WL intestine and in macrophages. AvBD8 gene expression was highly upregulated in macrophages treated with different LPS concentrations compared with that in T- and B-cell lines in a time-independent manner. Moreover, chicken AvBD8 strongly interacted with other AvBDs and with other antimicrobial peptides as determined by bioinformatics.
Our study provides the expression and regulation of chicken AvBD8 protein in immune tissues and cells, which play crucial role in the innate immunity.
Keywords: Chicken; Avian beta-Defensin 8; Immune Tissues; Immune Cells; Protein Expression

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