Supplementary Material for: Transcriptional Analysis of Host Responses to Marek's Disease Virus Infection in Chicken Thymus

<p>Marek's disease virus (MDV) is a cell-associated alpha-herpesvirus that causes T-cell lymphomas and nervous disorders in chickens. Different from other lymphoid organs, the thymus is the site of T-cell maturation and differentiation. However, the transcriptional response to MDV infection in the chicken thymus is still not known. In this study, we performed genome-wide expression analysis in thymus tissues of RB1B-infected chickens at different time points to investigate the molecular mechanisms of MDV pathogenesis. The number of differentially expressed genes with 2-fold or higher changes (>2) are as follows: 1,250 genes (7 dpi), 834 genes (14 dpi), 1,958 genes (21 dpi), and 2,306 genes (28 dpi). Gene ontology enrichment analysis revealed that the upregulated genes were involved in immune and inflammatory response at 7 dpi; angiogenesis, cytoskeleton organization, cell adhesion, and signal transduction showed different expressions at 21 and 28 dpi. The expression pattern of 18 randomly selected genes was confirmed by real-time RT-PCR. Several differently expressed host genes associated with tumor development are discussed. We identified the global host-gene expression pattern in the thymus of chickens that responded to MDV infection. The present data may provide groundwork for future investigation in the biology and pathogenesis of MDV.</p>