Publication Details

Moser, R. J., Reverter, A., Kerr, C. A. and Beh, K. J. (2004). A mixed-model approach for the analysis of cDNA microarray gene expression data from extreme-performing pigs after infection with Actinobacillus pleuropneumoniae. Journal of Animal Science, 82 (5), 1261-1271.


We proposed a novel statistical approach for the analysis of cDNA experiments based on mixed-model methodology combined with mixtures of distributions. Our objective was to detect genes that may be involved in conferring heritable differences in susceptibility to common infections in intensive pig production. We employed a microarray expression profiling strategy and a mixed-model approach to the analysis of the expression data. A cDNA microarray of pig with 6,420 probes from immune tissues and cells was used to compare gene expression in peripheral blood leukocytes of two pigs showing extreme performance in their response to infection with Actinobacillus pleuropneumoniae. Principal components analyses were used to identify the two most extreme-performing pigs after infection (i.e., pigs whose measured responses to infection fell at the extremes). Blood samples and expression profiles from 0 to 24 h after infection were compared using a bivariate, mixed-model approach, in which the effect gene × immunological status interaction was treated as a random effect. Bayesian model-based clustering via mixtures of normal distributions of the resulting BLUP of the random interaction was approached and resulted in a list of 307 differentially expressed genes, of which 179 were down-regulated in the susceptible pig. The majority of the differentially expressed genes were derived from a cDNA library of leukocytes of A. pleuropneumoniae-challenged pigs that were subtracted against leukocytes before the challenge. These results provide evidence that the proposed statistical approach was useful in enhancing the knowledge of the mechanisms involved in the genetics of the immune response.

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Journal of Animal Science