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J Virol. 2008 Feb;82(4):1714-22. Epub 2007 Dec 12.

CCL3 and viral chemokine-binding protein gg modulate pulmonary inflammation and virus replication during equine herpesvirus 1 infection.

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  • 1Department of Microbiology and Immunology, College of Veterinary Medicine, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY 14853, USA.


CCL3 is a proinflammatory chemokine that mediates many of the cellular changes occurring in pulmonary disease. Here, CCL3(-/-) mice were used to investigate the role of this chemokine during respiratory herpesvirus infection. Compared to wild-type mice, CCL3(-/-) mice infected with the alphaherpesvirus equine herpesvirus 1 (EHV-1) displayed reduced body weight loss but had higher pulmonary viral loads. Lungs from infected CCL3(-/-) mice suffered a milder interstitial pneumonia, and fewer immune cells were recovered from the pulmonary airways after infection. We could also demonstrate that herpesvirus-encoded chemokine-binding glycoprotein G (gG) was capable of inhibiting the chemotactic functions of CCL3. This CCL3-mediated chemotaxis, however, was restored in the presence of gG-specific antibodies, which puts into question the advertised use of gG deletion mutants as marker vaccines. In summary, we concluded that CCL3 is a major player in controlling herpesvirus replication in the target organ, the lung, and does so by evoking a strong inflammatory response. The immunomodulatory activity of CCL3 is balanced by the expression of viral gG, whose chemokine-binding activity is mitigated in secondary infections by the production of anti-gG antibodies.

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