Vitamin A (VA) deficiency remains prevalent in resource limited areas. Using Citrobacter rodentium infection in mice as a model for diarrheal diseases, previous reports showed reduced pathogen clearance and survival due to vitamin A deficient (VAD) status. To characterize the impact of preexisting VA deficiency on gene expression patterns in the intestines, and to discover novel target genes in VA-related biological pathways, VA deficiency in mice were induced by diet. Total mRNAs were extracted from small intestine (SI) and colon, and sequenced. Differentially Expressed Gene (DEG), Gene Ontology (GO) enrichment, and co-expression network analyses were performed. DEGs compared between VAS and VAD groups detected 49 SI and 94 colon genes. By GO information, SI DEGs were significantly enriched in categories relevant to retinoid metabolic process, molecule binding, and immune function. Three co-expression modules showed significant correlation with VA status in SI; these modules contained four known retinoic acid targets. In addition, other SI genes of interest (e.g., Mbl2, Cxcl14, and Nr0b2) in these modules were suggested as new candidate genes regulated by VA. Furthermore, our analysis showed that markers of two cell types in SI, mast cells and Tuft cells, were significantly altered by VA status. In colon, “cell division” was the only enriched category and was negatively associated with VA. Thus, these data suggested that SI and colon have distinct networks under the regulation of dietary VA, and that preexisting VA deficiency could have a significant impact on the host response to a variety of disease conditions.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
- Molecular Biology
- Nutrition and Dietetics
- Clinical Biochemistry