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Virol J. 2014 Mar 7;11:44. doi: 10.1186/1743-422X-11-44.

The effect of bovine viral diarrhea virus (BVDV) strains on bovine monocyte-derived dendritic cells (Mo-DC) phenotype and capacity to produce BVDV.

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  • 1Department of Veterinary and Biomedical Sciences, SDSU, Brookings, SD 57007, USA.



Dendritic cells (DC) are important antigen presentation cells that monitor, process, and present antigen to T cells. Viruses that infect DC can have a devastating impact on the immune system. In this study, the ability of bovine viral diarrhea virus (BVDV) to replicate and produce infectious virus in monocyte-derived dendritic cells (Mo-DC) and monocytes was studied. The study also examined the effect of BVDV infection on Mo-DC expression of cell surface markers, including MHCI, MHCII, and CD86, which are critical for DC function in immune response.


Peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) were isolated from bovine blood through gradient centrifugation. The adherent monocytes were isolated from PBMCs and differentiated into Mo-DC using bovine recombinant interleukin-4 (IL-4) and granulocyte-macrophage colony-stimulating factor (GMCSF). To determine the effect of BVDV on Mo-DC, four strains of BVDV were used including the severe acute non-cytopathic (ncp) BVDV2a-1373; moderate acute ncp BVDV2a 28508-5; and a homologous virus pair [i.e., cytopathic (cp) BVDV1b TGAC and ncp BVDV1b TGAN]. The Cooper strain of bovine herpesvirus 1 (BHV1) was used as the control virus. Mo-DC were infected with one of the BVDV strains or BHV-1 and were subsequently examined for virus replication, virus production, and the effect on MHCI, MHCII, and CD86 expression.


The ability of monocytes to produce infectious virus reduced as monocytes differentiated to Mo-DC, and was completely lost at 120 hours of maturation. Interestingly, viral RNA increased throughout the course of infection in Mo-DC, and the viral non-structural (NS5A) and envelope (E2) proteins were expressed. The ncp strains of BVDV down-regulated while cp strain up-regulated the expression of the MHCI, MHCII, and CD86 on Mo-DC.


The study revealed that the ability of Mo-DC to produce infectious virus was reduced with its differentiation from monocytes to Mo-DC. The inability to produce infectious virus may be due to a hindrance of virus packaging or release mechanisms. Additionally, the study demonstrated that ncp BVDV down-regulated and cp BVDV up-regulated the expression of Mo-DC cell surface markers MHCI, MHCII, and CD86, which are important in the mounting of immune responses.

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