Influences of porcine circo-, arteriviruses and cathelicidins in plasmacytoid dendritic cell-derived interferon-alpha responses

Baumann, Arnaud (2014). Influences of porcine circo-, arteriviruses and cathelicidins in plasmacytoid dendritic cell-derived interferon-alpha responses. (Dissertation, Universität Bern, Graduate School for Cellular and Biomedical Sciences)

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Type I interferons (IFNs), mainly IFN-α/β play a crucial role in innate defense against viruses. In addition to their direct antiviral activity, type I IFNs have antitumoral and immunomodulatory effects. Although all cells are virtually able to induce IFN-α, the plasmacytoid dendritic cell (pDC) subset represents the ultimate producers of IFN-α as well as other proinflammatory cytokines. Due to the specific expression of TLR7 and TLR9 recognizing single-stranded (ss) RNA and unmethylated CpG motifs respectively, pDCs can secrete up to 1000 times more IFN-α than any cellular types.
Additionally, it is well known that several cytokines including type I and II IFNs, Flt3-L, IL-4 and GM-CSF favor pDC-derived IFN-α responses to unmethylated CpG motifs. In a first step, we aimed to characterize and clarify the interactions of two porcine viruses with pDCs. The double-stranded DNA replicative forms of porcine circovirus type 2 (PCV2) were demonstrated to inhibit CpG-induced IFN- α by pDCs. Our study showed that none of the cytokines known to enhance pDC responsiveness can counter-regulate the PCV2-mediated inhibition of IFN-α induced by CpG, albeit IFN-γ significantly reduced the level of inhibition. Interestingly, the presence of IFN-γ enabled pDCs to induce IFN-α to low doses of PCV2. We also noted that after DNase treatment, PCV2 preparations were still able to stimulate pDCs. These data suggest that encapsulated viral ssDNA promotes the induction of IFN-α in pDCs treated with IFN-γ whereas free DNA, presumably as double-stranded forms, was responsible for inhibiting pDC responses. Regarding PRRSV, it has been reported that North American isolates did not induce and even inhibited IFN-α response in pDCs. However, PRRSV infection was also shown to lead to an induction of IFN-α in the serum and in the lungs suggesting that certain cells are responsive to the virus. Contrasting to previous reports we found that numerous PRRSV isolates directly induced IFN-α in pDCs. This response was still observed after UV-inactivation of viruses and required TLR7 signaling. The inhibition of CpG-induced IFN-α was weak and strain dependent, again contrasting with a previous report. We also observed that IFN-γ and IL-4 enhanced IFN-α response to two prototype strains, VR-2332 and LVP23. In summary, we demonstrated that both PCV2 and PRRSV promote IFN-α secretion in pDCs in vitro suggesting that IFN-α detected in PCV2- or PRRSV-infected animal might originate from pDCs. On the other hand, PRRSV replication is restricted to the macrophage (MΦ) lineage. These innate immune cells represent a heterogeneous population which can be induce to “classical” (M1) and “alternative” (M2) activated MΦ acquiring inflammatory or “wound-healing” functional properties, respectively. Nonetheless, little is known about the effect of polarization into M1 or M2 and the susceptibility of these cells to PRRSV. Thus, we examined the impact of cytokine on MΦ polarization into M1 or M2. Infections of these cells by several PRRSV isolates enabled the discrimination of PRRSV isolate in a genotype- and irulencedependent manner in M1 and IFN-β-activated MΦ. In contrast, the expression of PRRSV nucleocapsid in M2 or inactivated MΦ was indistinguishable among the PRRSV isolates tested. In the last part of my Thesis, we investigated the influence of three synthetic porcine cathelicidin peptides for their ability to deliver nucleic acid to pDCs. We reported that all cathelicidins tested can complex and quickly deliver nucleic acids resulting in IFN-α induction. Moreover, we show that the typical α-
helical amphipathic conformation is required to mediate killing of bacteria but not for inducing IFN-α secretion by pDCs. Furthermore, we found that E.coli treated with one of these cathelicidins is able to induce significantly higher levels of IFN-α compared to a non-sense version of the peptide. These data suggest that cathelicidins could influence the immune response in a two-step process. First, these peptides target bacteria leading to cell lysis. In turn, cathelicidins form complexes and deliver extracellular microbial nucleic acids released into pDCs. These pDC-derived IFN-α responses could be of particular relevance in driving the adaptive immune responses against microbial infections.

Item Type:

Thesis (Dissertation)


05 Veterinary Medicine > Department of Infectious Diseases and Pathobiology (DIP) > Institute of Virology and Immunology

UniBE Contributor:

Baumann, Arnaud


600 Technology > 610 Medicine & health




Ruth Bucheli

Date Deposited:

26 Sep 2014 09:25

Last Modified:

05 Dec 2022 14:36



Additional Information:

e-Dissertation (edbe)




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