In this study, we have analysed the effects of cAMP inducers on the multiplication of vesicular stomatis virus (VSV) and herpes simplex virus type 1 (HSV-1) in mouse macrophage-like cells. The addition of dibutyryl cAMP (dB-cAMP) or cholera toxin to resting peritoneal macrophages aged or P388D cells resulted in a 10- to 100-fold reduction of VSV yield compared to control cultures. In contrast, no cAMP-dependent inhibition was found in VSV-infected L929 cells. In macrophage-like cells, the dB-cAMP-induced antiviral state was not inhibited by antibodies to interferon (IFN)-α/β and did not correlate with any increase in the intracellular levels of 2–5 oligo(A) synthetase. Dibutyryl cAMP did not inhibit virus yields in mouse macrophages infected with encephalomyocarditis virus. In P388D cells, the addition of dB-cAMP resulted in an approximately 10-fold inhibition of HSV-1 replication with respect to control cultures, as evaluated both by TCID and plaque assays on Vero cells. Dibutyryl cAMP did not affect VSV binding or entry into mouse macrophages and the cAMP-mediated anti-VSV state was significantly reduced by inhibitors of protein kinase C (i.e. staurosporine and H7). These data suggest that macrophages may acquire resistance to infection by VSV and HSV-1 after treatment with cAMP inducers. This cAMP-mediated antiviral activity does not depend on the modulation of the endogenous IFN system, suggesting that macrophages exhibit multiple resistance mechanisms (i.e. IFN-dependent and IFN-independent) to maintain their intrinsic antiviral activity.


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