Effect of heat stress on the quantitative expression patterns of different cytokine genes in Malabari goats

  • V. P. Rashamol
  • V. SejianEmail author
  • M. Bagath
  • G. Krishnan
  • V. Beena
  • R. Bhatta
Original Paper


A study was conducted to determine the influence of exposure to hot environment on different cytokine gene expression patterns in Malabari goat. The study was conducted in 12 (10 months to 1 year old) goats of Malabari breed for 45-day duration. The control (n = 6; C) group goats were kept under comfortable condition in the shaded pens while heat stress (n = 6; HS) group goats were kept out in the open hot environment during summer season for the study duration between 10.00 h to 16.00 h. The representative mesenteric lymph node (MLN) samples were collected from the slaughtered goats at the end of study for assessing the different cytokine gene expression and histopathological changes. Compared with C group, the expression patterns of interleukin 18 (IL-18), tumor necrosis factor-α (TNF-α), interferon-β (IFN-β), and IFN-γ downregulated (P < 0.05) in the HS group. The histopathological changes of MLNs showed paucity of lymphocyte distribution in follicular areas as wells as decreased density of lymphocytes in the germinal centers of the HS group (P < 0.05). The findings from this study reflected the compromised immune functions during heat stress in Malabari goats. Further, the study established that IL-18, TNF-α, IFN-β, and IFN-γ genes could serve as reliable immunological markers for quantifying heat stress–mediated immune response alterations in Malabari goats.


Cytokines Heat stress Goat Immunity Interleukins 



The authors sincerely thank both the Directors, ICAR-NIANP for providing the research facilities and the Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR) for providing the grant for this study.

Compliance with ethical standards

This study was conducted with the approval of the Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC) (NIANP/IAEC/2/2017).


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Copyright information

© ISB 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.ICAR-National Institute of Animal Nutrition and PhysiologyBangaloreIndia
  2. 2.Academy of Climate Change Education and ResearchKerala Agricultural UniversityThrissurIndia
  3. 3.Centre for Animal Adaptation to Environment and Climate Change StudiesKerala Veterinary and Animal Sciences UniversityThrissurIndia

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