Lab Anim Res.  2020 Dec;36(4):345-350. 10.1186/s42826-020-00077-7.

Comparative analysis of immune related genes between domestic pig and germ-free minipig

  • 1Animal Model Research Group, Korea Institute of Toxicology, 30, Baekhak 1-gil, Jeongeup-si, Jeollabuk-do 143-701, South Korea
  • 2Division of Human and Environmental Toxicology, University of Science & Technology, Daejeon, South Korea
  • 3Department of Stem Cell and Regenerative Biotechnology, Konkuk University, 120 Neungdong-ro, Gwangjin-gu, Seoul 05029, Republic of Korea.


Recently, minipig has been considered as an animal model that is appropriate for human disease model to study toxicology, pharmacology, and xenotransplantation. Nevertheless, minipigs are bred in various environment according to their use. Here, we suggest that minipigs used for research should be bred in well-controlled facility, comparing immune status of pigs raised in different breeding environment. DNA microarray was performed with ear skin and placenta of Landrace domestic pigs (DPs) and Minnesota germ-free minipigs (GPs). Their immune transcriptome was analyzed by gene ontology (GO) annotation database, based on criteria of |log2 fold change| ≥1 with P ≤ 0.05. As a result, we found that immune related genes in the ear skin of DPs were highly activated, compared to GPs. On the other hand, no significant s were found in the placenta. Quantitative real-time PCR (qRT-PCR) was performed in five candidate immune genes. Their fold changes were consistent with the results from DNA microarray (P ≤ 0.05). In conclusion, we experimentally proved that porcine immune system was affected by different breeding environment, suggesting the importance of controlling microbes in animal room for the qualified research.


Minipig; Germ-free facility; Differentially expressed gene; Systemic immune activation
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