ヘラジカのトレポネーメ関連蹄病の全身エピゲノムワイド関連研究 Systemic epigenome-wide association study of elk treponeme-associated hoof disease
Margaret A. Wild,Kyle R. Taylor,Eric E. Nilsson,Daniel Beck & Michael K. Skinner
Scientific Reports Published:16 September 2023
Treponeme-associated hoof disease (TAHD) is an emerging disease of elk (Cervus canadensis) in the U.S. Pacific West. Because environmental epigenetics is the primary molecular process that mediates environmental factor impacts on a host organism and disease, the role of epigenetics in TAHD etiology was examined. The current study was designed to examine potential effects of TAHD on systemic epigenetic modifications in infected elk over a range of TAHD lesion severity. Leg tendons that contain predominantly fibroblast connective tissue cells were used to isolate fibroblast cells for epigenetic analysis in unaffected and TAHD-positive male and female Roosevelt and Rocky Mountain elk. Differential DNA methylation regions (DMRs) between the unaffected and TAHD-positive elk were identified for both female and male elk. The presence of TAHD was associated with alteration of the connective tissue cell epigenetics, and DMR associated genes identified. Therefore, the infected elk were found to have a systemic epigenetic alteration that was associated with the disease, despite pathology being generally limited to feet. If the elk germline epigenetics is altered then generational transmission of susceptibility to TAHD may impact subsequent generations through epigenetic inheritance. This first study of epigenetic changes associated with disease in elk suggests that TAHD promotes a systemic effect on the elk epigenetics which could exert health impacts on the elk.