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Microarray evaluation of bovine hepatic gene response to fescue toxicosis

In: World Mycotoxin Journal
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D.D. Tanaree Department of Microbiology, Oregon State University (OSU), 139 Oak Creek Building, Corvallis OR 97331, USA

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J.M. Duringer Department of Environmental and Molecular Toxicology, OSU, 139 Oak Creek Building, Corvallis OR 97331, USA

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D.W. Bohnert Eastern Oregon Agricultural Research Center, OSU, 67826-A Highway 205, Burns OR 97720, USA

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A.M. Craig College of Veterinary Medicine, OSU, 111 Veterinary Research Laboratory, Corvallis OR 97331, USA

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‘Fescue toxicosis’ is a disease in livestock caused by ingestion of ergot alkaloids produced by the fungal endophyteNeotyphodium coenophialum in tall fescue; it is estimated to cost 1 billion USD in damages per year to the beef industry alone. Clinical signs include decreased reproductive fitness, necrosis of extremities, and reduced average daily gain and milk production. Little is known about the cellular mechanisms that mediate these toxic sequelae. We evaluated the effects of ergovaline-based fescue toxicosis on gene expression via oligonucleotide microarray. Liver biopsies were obtained from steers (n=4) pre- and post-exposure (0 and 29 days) to feed containing 579 ng/g ergovaline. Analyses were performed using both ANOVA with false discovery rate correction and Storey's optimal discovery procedure. Overall, down-regulation of gene expression was observed; heart contraction and cardiac development, apoptosis, cell cycle control, and RNA processing genes represented the bulk of differentially expressed transcripts. 2 CYPs (CYP2E1 and CYP4F6) were amongst the significantly upregulated results. Thus, exposure of cattle to toxic levels of ergovaline caused widespread changes in hepatic gene expression, which can both help explain macroscopic clinical signs observed in ruminant animals, and reinforce previous findings in monogastric models.

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