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Transcription networks responsible for early regulation of Salmonella-induced inflammation in the jejunum of pigs

Marcel Hulst1*, Mari Smits1, Stéphanie Vastenhouw2, Agnes de Wit1, Theo Niewold3 and Jan van der Meulen1

Author Affiliations

1 Livestock Research of Wageningen University and Research Centre, P.O. Box 65, Lelystad, 8200AB, The Netherlands

2 Central Veterinary Institute of Wageningen University and Research Centre, P.O. Box 65, Lelystad, 8200 AB, The Netherlands

3 Present address: Nutrition and Health, Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, Kasteelpark Arenberg 30, Heverlee, B, 3001, Belgium

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Journal of Inflammation 2013, 10:18  doi:10.1186/1476-9255-10-18

Published: 17 April 2013



The aim of this study was to identify transcription factors/regulators that play a crucial role in steering the (innate) immune response shortly (within a few hours) after the first contact of the intestinal mucosa with an inflammatory mediator, and to test whether the processes regulated by these factors/regulators can be modulated by chemical substances of natural origin.


We experimentally induced inflammation by perfusion of surgically applied jejunal loops with Salmonella enterica subspecies enterica serovar Typhimurium DT104 in three pigs. Segments of mock and Salmonella treated loops were dissected after 2, 4 and 8 hours of perfusion. IL8 and IL1-beta mRNA expression levels were measured in mucosal scrapings of all segments. Furthermore, intra-animal microarray comparisons (isogenic) between Salmonella and mock treated segments after 8 hours, and inter-animal comparisons between similar Salmonella-treated loops of each pig at 2 and 4 hours, were performed.


IL-1beta and IL8 mRNA levels, and intra-animal microarray comparisons at 8 hours between Salmonella and mock treated segments showed that the response-time and type of response to Salmonella was different in all three pigs. This plasticity allowed us to extract a comprehensive set of differentially expressed genes from inter-animal comparisons at 2 and 4 hours. Pathway analysis indicated that many of these genes play a role in induction and/or tempering the inflammatory response in the intestine. Among them a set of transcription factors/regulators known to be involved in regulation of inflammation, but also factors/regulators for which involvement was not expected. Nine out of twenty compounds of natural origin, which according to literature had the potential to modulate the activity of these factors/regulators, were able to stimulate or inhibit a Salmonella-induced mRNA response of inflammatory-reporter genes IL8 and/or nuclear factor of kappa light polypeptide gene enhancer in B-cells inhibitor alpha in cultured intestinal porcine epithelial cells.


We describe a set of transcription factors/regulators possibly involved in regulation of “very early” immune mechanism which determines the inflammatory status of the intestine later on. In addition, we show that these mechanisms may be modulated by chemical substances of natural origin.

Transcription regulation; Salmonella-induced inflammation; Pig intestine