North American porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome viruses inhibit type I interferon production by plasmacytoid dendritic cells

Gabriela Calzada-Nova, William M Schnitzlein, Robert J Husmann, Federico A Zuckermann
Journal of Virology 2011, 85 (6): 2703-13
Although enveloped viruses typically trigger the prodigious secretion of alpha interferon (IFN-α) by plasmacytoid dendritic cells (pDC), porcine pDC remain quiescent when exposed to porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome virus (PRRSV). This inactivity is likely due to virus-mediated interference since the typical IFN-α response by either purified or nonsorted porcine pDC to transmissible gastroenteritis virus (TGEV) or the Toll-like receptor 9 agonist, oligodeoxynucleotide (ODN) D19, was markedly reduced in the presence of PRRSV. Suppression occurred independently of virus viability and acidification of pDC early endosomes but correlated with diminished levels of IFN-α mRNA. This change was attributed to an abrogation of transcription resulting from a decrease in the otherwise enhanced amounts of the requisite interferon regulatory factor 7 (IRF-7), whose gene expression in turn was limited as a consequence of a lessened availability of nuclear-localized signal transducer and activator of transcription 1 (STAT1). While PRRSV also inhibited tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNF-α) synthesis by pDC responding to either agent, only the interleukin-2 (IL-2) and IL-6 production instigated by ODN D19 exposure was blocked. Likewise, PRRSV did not impact a specific TGEV-associated enhancement of IL-8 expression. Moreover, an augmented phosphorylation of NF-κB seen in activated pDC was not only unaffected by PRRSV but actually occurred in its presence. Thus, as supported by a demonstrated resilience of pDC to PRRSV infection, this pathogen may interact with a cell surface protein(s) to selectively impede the completion of cascades involved in cytokine production by stimulated pDC.

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