Gene expression profiling of articular cartilage reveals functional pathways and networks of candidate genes for osteochondrosis in pigs

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Rangkasenee N., Murani E., Schellander K., Cinar M. U. , Ponsuksili S., Wimmers K.

PHYSIOLOGICAL GENOMICS, cilt.45, ss.856-865, 2013 (SCI İndekslerine Giren Dergi) identifier identifier identifier


Osteochondrosis (OC) is a joint disorder that frequently causes leg weakness in growing pigs, resulting in welfare problems and economic losses. We aimed to detect molecular pathways relevant to the emergence of the disease and to identify candidate genes for the liability to the disorder. Therefore, we compared microarray-based expression patterns of articular cartilage with (n = 11) and without (n = 11) histologically diagnosed OC lesions obtained from discordant sib-pairs. A total of 1,564 genes were found with different transcript abundance [differentially expressed (DE) genes] at q <= 0.05. To further identify candidate genes, we integrated data from quantitative trait loci (QTL) and genome-wide association (GWA) studies with the expression analysis. We detected 317 DE genes within the QTL confidence intervals, of which 26 DE genes also overlapped GWA regions. Ingenuity Pathway Analysis suggests a pathogenic role of immune response, angiogenesis, and synthesis of extracellular matrix pathways for OC. These processes could facilitate the emergence of defects. But they may also promote the degradation of articular cartilage and the worsening of the disease. A functional network was derived that comprised genes with functional and positional clues of their role in bone and cartilage metabolisms and development, including extracellular matrix genes (e. g., LOX, OGN, and ASPN), angiogenesis genes (e. g., ANGPTL4 and PDGFA), and immune response genes (e. g., ICAM1, AZGP1, C1QB, C1QC, PDE4B, and CDA). The study identified molecular processes linked to OC and several genes with positional, genetic-statistical, and functional evidence for their role in the emergence of articular cartilage lesions and the liability to OC.