Blood cell counts are important clinical indicators for health status. The liver plays a crucial role in food digestion and metabolism and is also a blood-forming organ. Here, we conducted a whole-genome quantitative trait transcript (QTT) analysis on 497 liver samples for 16 hematological traits in a White Duroc × Erhualian F2 pig resource population. A total of 20,108 transcripts were explored to detect their association with hematological traits. By using Spearman correlation coefficients, we identified 1,267 QTTs for these 16 hematological traits at the significance threshold of P < 0.001. We found eight candidate genes for erythrocyte and leukocyte-related traits by a look-up of human and pig and genome-wide association study results. Further, we constructed co-expression networks for leukocyte-related QTTs using weighted gene co-expression analysis. These QTTs were clustered into two to eight modules. The highest connection strength in intra-modules was identified in a module for white blood cell count. In the module, USP18, RSAD2 and OAS1 appeared to be important genes involved in interferon-stimulated innate immune system. The findings improve our understanding of intrinsic relationships between the liver and blood cells and provide novel insights into the potential therapeutic targets of hematologic diseases.
- Hematological traits
- Quantitative trait transcript
- Co-expression network
- Copyright © 2015, Physiological Genomics