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Microb Pathog. 2011 Sep;51(3):194-202. doi: 10.1016/j.micpath.2011.04.001. Epub 2011 Apr 13.

Porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome virus (PRRSV) causes apoptosis during its replication in fetal implantation sites.

Author information

1
Laboratory of Virology, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Ghent University, Salisburylaan 133, 9820 Merelbeke, Belgium. uladzimir.karniychuk@ugent.be

Abstract

Reproductive failure due to porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome virus (PRRSV) is characterized by late-term abortions, early farrowing and an increase of dead and mummified fetuses and weak-born piglets. The mechanism of PRRSV-induced reproductive failure is poorly understood. Human pregnancies, complicated by some pathogens leading to reproductive disorders exhibit increased apoptosis in the fetal membranes. Because PRRSV-target cells are present in endometrium/fetal placentas from healthy sows and PRRSV-infected macrophages in other organs die by apoptosis, we hypothesized that PRRSV can replicate and induce apoptosis in the fetal implantation sites at the last stage of gestation. In the present study, identification, localization and quantification of the PRRSV-positive and apoptotic cells were performed in the fetal implantation sites. Three dams were inoculated intranasally with 10(5) TCID(50) PRRSV 07V063 at 90 days of gestation and sampled at 10 days post-inoculation. Two non-inoculated dams that were euthanized at 100 days of gestation served as control animals. Inoculation of the dams resulted in a viremia that lasted until the end of the study. Transplacental PRRSV spread was detected in all inoculated dams. Using immunofluorescence staining, single PRRSV-positive cells were found in the endometrial connective tissues adjacent to both PRRSV-positive and PRRSV-negative fetuses. In the fetal placental mesenchyme of the PRRSV-positive fetuses, infected cells were more abundant and spread focally. Double staining showed that all PRRSV-positive cells in the fetal implantation sites were positive for sialoadhesin and CD163. Apoptotic cells (TUNEL+) were detected in endometrium and fetal placentas of both non- and PRRSV-inoculated dams. The number of apoptotic cells was significantly higher in PRRSV-positive endometrium/fetal placentas. PRRSV caused apoptosis in infected cells since 20-61% of PRRSV-positive cells were apoptotic and in surrounding cells since 43-91% of the apoptotic cells were virus-negative. The main conclusion obtained from the present study is that PRRSV replicates in the fetal implantation sites and causes apoptosis in infected macrophages and surrounding cells at the last stage of gestation. The possible mode of PRRSV replication in the fetal implantation sites and the events that might contribute to the reproductive disorders are discussed.

PMID:
21511026
DOI:
10.1016/j.micpath.2011.04.001
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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