Modulation of cathelicidins, IFNβ and TNFα by bovine alpha-herpesviruses is dependent on the stage of the infectious cycle.


Consejo Nacional de Investigaciones Científicas y Técnicas (CONICET), Rivadavia 1917, C1033AAJ, Buenos Aires, Argentina; Instituto Nacional de Tecnología Agropecuaria (INTA), Estación Experimental Agropecuaria Balcarce, Ruta 226 Km 73.5 (7620), Balcarce, Buenos Aires, Argentina. Electronic address: [Email]


Production of antimicrobial peptides cathelicidins, interferons and cytokines is an important feature in airway epithelial host defense. The innate immune response to alpha-herpesvirus infection at the sites of primary replication has not been fully studied. Thus, the aim of this study was to determine the expression of innate immune components, cathelicidins, IFNβ, TNFα and TNF receptors (TNFRI and TNFRII) during acute infection and reactivation of bovine herpesvirus type 1 (BoHV-1) and 5 (BoHV-5) in the respiratory tract and lymphoid tissue of their natural host. We found that BoHV infection modulates mainly the expression of BMAP28, a key cathelicidin in cattle. It was downregulated by both viruses in retropharyngeal lymph nodes of acutely infected-calves, and it was accompanied by a lower expression of IFNβ, TNFα and TNFRI. BoHV-5 showed a pronounced role in the downregulation of BMAP28, even in nasal mucosa and lung. However, during reactivation, BoHV-5 upregulated both BMAP28 and IFNβ in retropharyngeal lymph nodes. Acute replication induced also TNFα mRNA and protein synthesis, and expression of TNFRI and II was positively regulated during both acute infection and reactivation, particularly in the trachea. Moreover, BMAP27 was detected during BoHV-1 reactivation suggesting a potential role at this stage. Thus, cathelicidins are implicated in alpha-herpesvirus infections of the bovine respiratory system and the response is distinct during BoHV-1 and BoHV-5 acute infection and reactivation. This demonstrates that these viruses modulate differentially the components of innate immune response, possibly influencing their pathogenesis. This study provides an initial pilot analysis of factors that might be implicated in alpha-herpesvirus infection of the bovine respiratory system.


Alpha-Herpesviruses,Bovine,Cathelicidins,Cytokines,Expression patterns,Respiratory system,