MicroRNA regulation of bovine monocyte inflammatory and metabolic networks in an in vivo infection model.

Nathan Lawless, Timothy Reinhardt, Kenneth Bryan, Mike Baker, Bruce Pesch, Duane Zimmerman, Kurt Zuelke, Tad Sonstegard, Cliona O'Farrelly, John Lippolis, David Lynn

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    31 Citations (Scopus)


    Bovine mastitis is an inflammation-driven disease of the bovine mammary gland that costs the global dairy industry several billion dollars per year. Because disease susceptibility is a multifactorial complex phenotype, an integrative biology approach is required to dissect the molecular networks involved. Here, we report such an approach using next-generation sequencing combined with advanced network and pathway biology methods to simultaneously profile mRNA and miRNA expression at multiple time points (0, 12, 24, 36 and 48 hr) in milk and blood FACS-isolated CD14+ monocytes from animals infected in vivo with Streptococcus uberis. More than 3700 differentially expressed (DE) genes were identified in milk-isolated monocytes (MIMs), a key immune cell recruited to the site of infection during mastitis. Upregulated genes were significantly enriched for inflammatory pathways, whereas downregulated genes were enriched for nonglycolytic metabolic pathways. Monocyte transcriptional changes in the blood, however, were more subtle but highlighted the impact of this infection systemically. Genes upregulated in blood-isolated monocytes (BIMs) showed a significant association with interferon and chemokine signaling. Furthermore, 26miRNAs were DE in MIMs and three were DE in BIMs. Pathway analysis revealed that predicted targets of downregulated miRNAs were highly enriched for roles in innate immunity (FDR , 3.4E28), particularly TLR signaling, whereas upregulated miRNAs preferentially targeted genes involved in metabolism. We conclude that during S. uberis infection miRNAs are key amplifiers of monocyte inflammatory response networks and repressors of several metabolic pathways.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)957-971
    Number of pages15
    JournalG3: Genes, Genomes, Genetics
    Issue number6
    Early online date2014
    Publication statusPublished - 2014


    • Complex
    • Complex genetics
    • Immunity
    • Infection
    • Innate immunity
    • MicroRNA
    • Networks
    • Resistance
    • RNAseq
    • Tolerance
    • Transcriptional


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