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J Interferon Cytokine Res. 1997 Oct;17(10):625-30.

Low-dose oral type I interferons reduce early virus replication of murine cytomegalovirus in vivo.

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  • 1Department of Microbiology, University of Western Australia, Queen Elizabeth II Medical Centre, Nedlands, Perth.


Immunity to viral infections involves both innate and antigen-specific immune responses. The antiviral properties of interferons (IFNs) are part of the innate immune response. Low doses of type I IFNs (IFN-alpha and IFN-beta) administered daily (10 IU per mouse) by the oral route significantly reduced the early replication of murine cytomegalovirus (MCMV) in both the spleen and liver of MCMV-infected susceptible BALB/c mice. Significant inhibition of virus replication was observed for two different inoculum doses of virus (2 x 10(4) pfu per mouse [0.6 LD50] and 2 x 10(4.12) pfu per mouse [0.8 LD50]). Analysis of IFN retention, using [35S]-labeled IFN-alpha1 compared with the nonreceptor binding mutant IFN-alpha1 (R33M) administered orally to mice, revealed binding of wild-type IFN-alpha1 to several tissues. In particular, IFN was retained by tissues proximal to lymphoid regions, including the posterior nasal cavity, posterior tongue, small intestine, and rectum. These findings suggest that type I IFNs may inhibit MCMV replication by distal binding of the orally administered IFN to various tissues, which in turn augment the primary immune response to virus infection.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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