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Maternal and fetal thyroid dysfunction following porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome virus2 infection

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  • To better understand the host response to porcine reproductive and respiratory virus-2 (PRRSV2) we evaluated circulating thyroid hormone and associated gene expression in a late gestation challenge model. Pregnant gilts were inoculated at gestation day 85 and fetal samples collected at either 12 or 21 days post-infection (dpi). A subset of fetuses was selected for analysis based on viability and viral load categorized as either uninfected-viable (UNIF), high viral load viable (HV-VIA) or high viral load meconium stained (HV-MEC) and were compared with gestational age matched controls (CON). In dams, circulating levels of total T3 and T4 decreased in the acute period following infection and rebounded by 21 dpi. A similar effect was observed in fetuses, but was largely restricted to HV-VIA and HV-MEC, with minimal decrease noted in UNIF relative to CON at 21 dpi. Gene expression in fetal heart at 12 dpi showed significant decompensatory transcription of thyroid hormone transporters (SLC16A2) and deiodinases (DIO2, DIO3), which was not observed in brain. Correspondingly, genes associated with cell cycle progression (CDK1,2,4) were downregulated in only the heart of highly infected fetuses, while expression of their inhibitor (CDKN1A) was upregulated in both tissues. Finally, expression of genes associated with cardiac stress including CAMKD and AGT were upregulated in the hearts of highly infected fetuses, and a shift in expression of MYH6 to MYH7 was observed in HV-MEC fetuses specifically. Collectively, the results suggest PRRSV2 infection causes a hypothyroid state that disproportionally impacts the fetal heart over the brain.

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    Article (Published)
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    Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International
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    • Pasternak, J. A., Harding, J. C. S., & MacPhee, D. J. (n.d.). Maternal and fetal thyroid dysfunction following porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome virus2 infection. Veterinary Research, 51(1).