Chicken immunoregulatory Ig-like receptor families: An overview and expression details on ggTREM-A1

Birgit C. Viertlboeck, Matthias A. Hanczaruk, Barbara Amann, Sophie R. Bader, Ramona Schmitt, Beatrice Sperling, Susanne C.N. Schwarz, Wolfgang Schmahl, Cornelia A. Deeg, Thomas W. Göbel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


Paired immunoregulatory receptors facilitate the coordination of the immune response at the cellular level. In recent years, our group characterized chicken homologues to mammalian immunoregulatory Ig-like receptor families. The first part of this review focuses on the current progress on chicken immunoregulatory Ig-like receptor families. One of these receptors is gallus gallus TREM-A1, which was described as the only member of the chicken TREM family with activating potential. The second part of this review presents a study initiated to further characterize ggTREM-A1 expression. For this purpose we established real-time RT-PCR and generated a specific mab to analyze the expression profile of ggTREM-A1 on mRNA and protein level, respectively. GgTREM-A1 mRNA was predominantly expressed in macrophages, but was also detected in brain, bone marrow, bursa, thymus, spleen and PBMC. Analyzing ggTREM-A1 surface expression by mab staining validated the expression on macrophages. Additionally, we showed high expression on blood monocytes, heterophils and NK cells and on monocytes isolated from bone marrow. Moreover, we detected ggTREM-A1 protein also on thrombocytes, B and T cell subsets, but antigen expression seemed to be lower and more variable in these cells. Immunohistochemistry of chicken brain tissue, combining ggTREM-A1 mab and various markers specific for various brain cell subsets showed expression of ggTREM-A1 on microglial cells, but also on neurons, astrocytes and oligodendrocytes. In conclusion, ggTREM-A1 is expressed on a variety of cells, relevant for the immune system, possibly combining physiological function of different mammalian TREM.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)403-412
Number of pages10
JournalDevelopmental and Comparative Immunology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Nov 2013
Externally publishedYes


  • Chicken
  • Comparative immunology
  • Immunoregulatory receptor
  • Monocytes/macrophages
  • NK cell
  • Non-mammalian vertebrate


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