Parasitology Research

, Volume 117, Issue 10, pp 3269–3276 | Cite as

Exploring the TLR and NLR signaling pathway relevant molecules induced by the Theileria annulata infection in calves

  • Fangyuan Yin
  • Junlong Liu
  • Shandian Gao
  • Aihong Liu
  • Shuaiyang Zhao
  • Sitong Li
  • Jinming Wang
  • Youquan Li
  • Jianxun Luo
  • Guiquan GuanEmail author
  • Hong YinEmail author
Original Paper


Theileria annulata is the pathogen of bovine tropical theileriosis. It is extremely harmful to the cattle industry, with huge economic losses. The toll-like receptor (TLR) and NOD-like receptor (NLR) signaling pathways are crucial for resistance to infection of the protozoa, such as Plasmodium falciparum, Toxoplasma gondii, and Trypanosoma cruzi. However, the role of these immune-related pathways is unclear during T. annulata infection. In the present study, peripheral blood mononuclear cells and serum were separated from blood samples of calves infected with homogenized tick supernatants carrying T. annulata sporozoites at 12 h, 24 h, 36 h, 48 h, 72 h, 96 h, 120 h, 144 h and 168 h postinoculation. The Custom RT2 Profiler PCR Array was used to explore the mRNA levels of 42 TLR and NLR signaling pathway relevant genes. The TLR1, TLR6, TLR10, NLRP1, and MyD88 genes and their downstream signaling molecules significantly differed after the T. annulata infection in comparison with that of preinfection from 72 h to 168 h postinoculation. The serum concentrations of IL-6, IL-1β, and TNFα were significantly increased at 96 h and 168 h postinfection. These findings provided novel information to help determine the mechanisms of TLR and NLR signaling pathway involvement in protection against T. annulata infection.


Theileria annulata Innate immunity TLRs NLRs PCR array 


Financial support

This study was supported by the National Key Basic Research Program (973 program) of China (No. 2015CB150300); the National Key Research and Development Program of China (No. 2017YFD0501200); ASTIP, FRIP (No. 2014ZL010), CAAS; NBCIS CARS-38; NSFC (No. 31372432, 31,402,189); and Jiangsu Co-innovation Center Programme for Prevention and Control of Important Animal Infectious Diseases and Zoonoses, State Key Laboratory of Veterinary Etiological Biology Project. The research was also facilitated by CRP No. 16198/R0 IAEA.

Compliance with ethical standards

Competing interests

The authors declare that they have no competing interests.

Supplementary material

436_2018_6026_Fig3_ESM.png (64 kb)
Additional file 1

Detection of T. annulata infection in ticks using the PCR assay. (A) Infected ticks. (B) Uninfected ticks. M: DL2000™ DNA marker. (PNG 64 kb)

436_2018_6026_MOESM1_ESM.tif (25 kb)
High resolution image (TIF 25 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Fangyuan Yin
    • 1
  • Junlong Liu
    • 1
  • Shandian Gao
    • 1
  • Aihong Liu
    • 1
  • Shuaiyang Zhao
    • 1
  • Sitong Li
    • 1
  • Jinming Wang
    • 1
  • Youquan Li
    • 1
  • Jianxun Luo
    • 1
  • Guiquan Guan
    • 1
    Email author
  • Hong Yin
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  1. 1.State Key Laboratory of Veterinary Etiological Biology, Key Laboratory of Veterinary Parasitology of Gansu Province, Lanzhou Veterinary Research InstituteChinese Academy of Agricultural ScienceLanzhouPeople’s Republic of China
  2. 2.Jiangsu Co-innovation Center for Prevention and Control of Important Animal Infectious Diseases and ZoonosesYangzhouPeople’s Republic of China

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