Methylome and Transcriptome-Based Integration Analysis Identified Molecular Signatures Associated With Meningitis Induced by Glaesserella parasuis

Front Immunol. 2022 Feb 25:13:840399. doi: 10.3389/fimmu.2022.840399. eCollection 2022.


Glaesserella parasuis (G. parasuis) can elicit serious inflammatory responses and cause meningitis in piglets. Previous epigenetic studies have indicated that alterations in host DNA methylation may modify the inflammatory response to bacterial infection. However, to date, genome-wide analysis of the DNA methylome during meningitis caused by G. parasuis infection is still lacking. In this study, we employed an unbiased approach using deep sequencing to profile the DNA methylome and transcriptome from G. parasuis infected porcine brain (cerebrum) and integrated the data to identify key differential methylation regions/sites involved in the regulation of the inflammatory response. Results showed that DNA methylation patterns and gene expression profiles from porcine brain were changed after G. parasuis infection. The majority of the altered DNA methylation regions were found in the intergenic regions and introns and not associated with CpG islands, with only a low percentage occurring at promoter or exon regions. Integrated analysis of the DNA methylome and transcriptome identified a number of inversely and positively correlated genes between DNA methylation and gene expression, following the criteria of |log2FC| > 0.5, |diffMethy| > 0.1, and P < 0.05. Differential expression and methylation of two significant genes, semaphoring 4D (SEMA4D) and von Willebrand factor A domain containing 1 (VWA1), were validated by qRT-PCR and bisulfite sequencing. Gene Ontology (GO) and Kyoto Encyclopedia of Genes and Genomes (KEGG) enrichment analyses demonstrated that DNA methylation inversely correlated genes in G. parasuis infected porcine brains were mainly involved with cell adhesion molecules (CAMs), bacterial invasion of epithelial cells, RIG-1-like receptor signaling pathways, and hematopoietic cell lineage signaling pathways. In addition, a protein-protein interaction network of differentially methylated genes found potential candidate molecular interactions relevant to the pathology of G. parasuis infection. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first attempt to integrate the DNA methylome and transcriptome data from G. parasuis infected porcine brains. Our findings will help understanding the contribution of genome-wide DNA methylation to the pathogenesis of meningitis in pigs and developing epigenetic biomarkers and therapeutic targets for the treatment of G. parasuis induced meningitis.

Keywords: Glaesserella parasuis; Whole-genome DNA methylation; inflammation; meningitis; transcriptome.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Epigenome
  • Gene Expression Profiling
  • Haemophilus parasuis* / genetics
  • Meningitis*
  • Swine
  • Transcriptome