Induction of interferon-gamma-inducible protein 10 by SARS-CoV infection, interferon alfacon 1 and interferon inducer in human bronchial epithelial Calu-3 cells and BALB/c mice

Yohichi Kumaki, Craig W Day, Kevin W Bailey, Miles K Wandersee, Min-Hui Wong, Jason R Madsen, Justin S Madsen, Nathan M Nelson, Justin D Hoopes, John D Woolcott, Tyler Z McLean, Lawrence M Blatt, Andres M Salazar, Donald F Smee, Dale L Barnard
Antiviral Chemistry & Chemotherapy 2010 March 9, 20 (4): 169-77

BACKGROUND: The pathogenesis of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus (SARS-CoV) is poorly understood. Several mechanisms involving both direct effects on target cells and indirect effects via the immune system might exist. SARS-CoV has been shown in vitro to induce changes of cytokines and chemokines in various human and animal cells. We previously reported that interferon (IFN) alfacon-1 was more active against SARS-CoV infection in human bronchial epithelial Calu-3 cells than in African green monkey kidney epithelial cells on day 3 post-infection.

METHODS: In the current study, we first evaluated the efficacy of IFN-alfacon 1 in Calu-3 cells during the first 7 days of virus infection. We then used the two-antibody sandwich ELISA method to detect IFN-gamma-inducible protein 10 (IP-10). We further evaluated the efficacy of antivirals directed against SARS-CoV infection in BALB/c mice.

RESULTS: A potent, prolonged inhibition of SARS-CoV replication in Calu-3 cells with IFN-alfacon 1 was observed. Furthermore, IP-10, an IFN-inducible leukocyte chemoattractant, was detected in Calu-3 cells after SARS-CoV infection. Interestingly, IP-10 expression was shown to be significantly increased when SARS-CoV-infected Calu-3 cells were treated with IFN alfacon-1. IP-10 expression was detected in the lungs of SARS-CoV-infected BALB/c mice. Significantly high levels of mouse IP-10 in BALB/c mice was also detected when SARS-CoV-infected mice were treated with the interferon inducer, polyriboinosinic-polyribocytidylic acid stabilized with poly-L-lysine and carboxymethyl cellulose (poly IC:LC). Treatment with poly IC:LC by intranasal route were effective in protecting mice against a lethal infection with mouse-adapted SARS-CoV and reduced the viral lung titres.

CONCLUSIONS: Our data might provide an important insight into the mechanism of pathogenesis of SARS-CoV and these properties might be therapeutically advantageous.

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