Differentiation-dependent antiviral capacities of amphibian ( Xenopus laevis ) macrophages

Amulya Yaparla, Milan Popovic, Leon Grayfer
Journal of Biological Chemistry 2018 February 2, 293 (5): 1736-1744
Infections by ranaviruses such as Frog virus 3 (Fv3), are significantly contributing to worldwide amphibian population declines. Notably, amphibian macrophages (Mφs) are important to both the Fv3 infection strategies and the immune defense against this pathogen. However, the mechanisms underlying amphibian Mφ Fv3 susceptibility and resistance remain unknown. Mφ differentiation is mediated by signaling through the colony-stimulating factor-1 receptor (CSF-1R) which is now known to be bound not only by CSF-1, but also by the unrelated interleukin-34 (IL-34) cytokine. Pertinently, amphibian ( Xenopus laevis ) Mφs differentiated by CSF-1 and IL-34 are highly susceptible and resistant to Fv3, respectively. Accordingly, in the present work, we elucidate the facets of this Mφ Fv3 susceptibility and resistance. Because cellular resistance to viral replication is marked by expression of antiviral restriction factors, it was intuitive to find that IL-34-Mφs possess significantly greater mRNA levels of select restriction factor genes than CSF-1-Mφs. Xenopodinae amphibians have highly expanded repertoires of antiviral interferon (IFN) cytokine gene families, and our results indicated that in comparison with the X. laevis CSF-1-Mφs, the IL-34-Mφs express substantially greater transcripts of representative IFN genes, belonging to distinct gene family clades, as well as their cognate receptor genes. Finally, we demonstrate that IL-34-Mφ-conditioned supernatants confer IFN-mediated anti-Fv3 protection to the virally susceptible X. laevis kidney (A6) cell line. Together, this work underlines the differentiation pathways leading to Fv3-susceptible and -resistant amphibian Mφ populations and defines the molecular mechanisms responsible for these differences.

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