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Arch Virol. 1993;133(3-4):259-73.

The pathogenicity of a US3 protein kinase-deficient mutant of herpes simplex virus type 2 in mice.

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Laboratory of Virology, Nagoya University School of Medicine, Japan.


We have investigated the pathogenicity of a US3 protein kinase-deficient mutant (L1 BR1) of herpes simplex virus type 2 (HSV-2) for 4-week-old ICR mice to define the role of the viral protein kinase in virus-host interaction. When mice were intraperitoneally infected with 10(5)PFU of L1 BR1, the virus disappeared from the peritoneal cavity by 2 days postinfection and failed to induce any significant histopathological changes in the liver and spleen although viral antigens were occasionally detected in the epithelial cells of small bile ducts and small vascular wall. The parental virus (HSV-2 186) and a revertant of the mutant (L1 B-11) both caused severe hepatitis, and viral antigens were clearly detected in the hepatocytes and Kupffer cells in the focal necrotic areas. Both of the virulent viruses, unlike L1 BR1, could produce infectious progeny and cytopathic effects in freshly harvested peritoneal macrophages. The growth of L1 BR1 in peritoneal macrophages was restricted at a stage of or prior to viral DNA synthesis but after the induction of viral DNA polymerase. In addition, the production and/or the spread of mutant in mouse embryo fibroblasts (MEF) was found to be much more effectively suppressed by cocultivation of peritoneal macrophages than that of 186. An almost complete inhibition of L1 BR1-plaque formation was observed at a macrophage-to-MEF ratio of 4:1. These results suggest that the attenuation of L1 BR1 following intraperitoneal infection is primarily due to its high sensitivity to intrinsic and extrinsic inhibition of peritoneal macrophages and that the US3 protein kinase may play a role in viral DNA replication in peritoneal macrophages.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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