Host gene expression profiles in ferrets infected with genetically distinct henipavirus strains
Ferrets were infected with 5,000 TCID50 of HeV and NiV-B and euthanized at 3 and 5 d.p.i. and together with an uninfected control group (n = 3 per group). Transcriptomic analysis of the lung tissue was performed by RNA-seq. A) Number of significantly up- and down-regulated genes with respect to the control group (fold-variation>±1.5 and FDR<0.05) at 3 and 5 dpi. B) Functional gene classification of differentially expressed genes. For each time-point, up- and down-regulated genes were subjected to functional classification and a selected group of gene categories from 1Gene Ontology and 2KEGG Pathways that are related with the immune responses are shown. For each functional category, the number of up- and down-regulated genes and the level of significance of the enrichment (Fisher’s exact test p-value) are indicated. C) Heatmap showing the level of activation of genes belonging to the Response to Type I Interferon category, which encompasses antiviral response genes, during the course of HeV and NiV-B infection. D) Functional enrichment of up-regulated genes that belong to protein-protein interaction (PPI) hubs of transcription factors. E-F) Evolution in the mRNA expression levels of selected macrophage markers and lymphocyte markers, respectively, during HeV and NiV-B infection. These sets of markers were selected from the literature according to their association with these two cell populations, and their coordinated upregulation reflects an increase of the associated cell population in the tissue. Dark grey shaded areas indicate no variation with respect to the control group (<±1.5 fold-change).