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J Virol. 2007 Jan;81(1):237-47. Epub 2006 Nov 1.

Differential induction of type I interferon responses in myeloid dendritic cells by mosquito and mammalian-cell-derived alphaviruses.

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  • 1Department of Genetics, The Carolina Vaccine Institute, The University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, NC 27599, USA.


Dendritic cells (DCs) are an important early target cell for many mosquito-borne viruses, and in many cases mosquito-cell-derived arboviruses more efficiently infect DCs than viruses derived from mammalian cells. However, whether mosquito-cell-derived viruses differ from mammalian-cell-derived viruses in their ability to induce antiviral responses in the infected dendritic cell has not been evaluated. In this report, alphaviruses, which are mosquito-borne viruses that cause diseases ranging from encephalitis to arthritis, were used to determine whether viruses grown in mosquito cells differed from mammalian-cell-derived viruses in their ability to induce type I interferon (IFN) responses in infected primary dendritic cells. Consistent with previous results, mosquito-cell-derived Ross River virus (mos-RRV) and Venezuelan equine encephalitis virus (mos-VEE) exhibited enhanced infection of primary myeloid dendritic cells (mDCs) compared to mammalian-cell-derived virus preparations. However, unlike the mammalian-cell-derived viruses, which induced high levels of type I IFN in the infected mDC cultures, mos-RRV and mos-VEE were poor IFN inducers. Furthermore, the poor IFN induction by mos-RRV contributed to the enhanced infection of mDCs by mos-RRV. These results suggest that the viruses initially delivered by the mosquito vector differ from those generated in subsequent rounds of replication in the host, not just with respect to their ability to infect dendritic cells but also in their ability to induce or inhibit antiviral type I IFN responses. This difference may have an important impact on the mosquito-borne virus's ability to successfully make the transition from the arthropod vector to the vertebrate host.

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