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Vet Immunol Immunopathol. 2009 Feb 15;127(3-4):350-6. doi: 10.1016/j.vetimm.2008.10.332. Epub 2008 Nov 7.

Effect of porcine circovirus type 2 infection and replication on activated porcine peripheral blood mononuclear cells in vitro.

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  • 1Department of Veterinary Microbiology and Preventive Medicine, College of Veterinary Medicine, Iowa State University, Ames, IA 50011, United States.


The goal of this study was to examine the effect of porcine circovirus type 2 (PCV2) infection and replication on peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) in the presence of mitogens, concanavalin A (ConA) or pokeweed mitogen (PWM) in vitro. The level of PCV2 replication and the impact of infection on PBMC proliferation, viability and the level of apoptosis in the presence or absence of mitogen stimulation were assessed. Mitogen stimulation increased viral replication in PBMCs as measured by the amount of spliced capsid mRNA (Cap mRNA). However, cell proliferation alone had no significant impact on PCV2 replication as the level of Cap mRNA in ConA or PWM stimulated PBMCs was not increased in proliferating cells compared to non-proliferating cells. No significant differences were observed in the level of PCV2 replication product in PBMCs stimulated with ConA for 12, 36, and 72 h prior to infection. Infection with PCV2 did not affect the ability of PBMCs to proliferate in response to ConA or PWM stimulation in vitro. Increased apoptosis was associated with PCV2 infection in PWM stimulated PBMCs. Interestingly, a significantly lower apoptotic index was observed in PCV2 infected PBMCs compared to mock-infected cells in the absence of mitogens. This study determined that the rate of PCV2 replication increases with cell stimulation and apoptosis is increased following PCV2 infection under certain stimulation conditions. These results further suggest that PCV2 requires a specific stimulation or trigger for increased viral replication, which is independent of cell proliferation.

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