The induction of macrophage procoagulant activity (PCA) has been shown to correlate with the development of fulminant hepatic necrosis after infection with murine hepatitis virus strain 3 (MHV-3). However, comparatively little is known about the early events in cells after viral infection leading to PCA expression. Accordingly, we investigated the early cellular events in the induction of macrophage PCA by MHV-3. MHV-3 stimulation of macrophages did not result in a detectable increase in intracellular calcium levels nor did stimulation of macrophages by calcium ionophores result in induction of PCA, suggesting that calcium transients were neither necessary nor sufficient for induction of PCA by MHV-3. Treatment of cells with phorbol myristate acetate had no effect on PCA induction; however, inhibition of protein kinase C (PKC) by staurosporine or H7 resulted in attenuation of macrophage PCA following MHV-3 stimulation ( < 0.05 compared with untreated macrophages), suggesting that although activation of PKC alone is insufficient for PCA induction, PKC may be an integral component of PCA induction by MHV-3. We have previously demonstrated that dimethyl prostaglandin E inhibited induction of PCA by MHV-3. In this study, treatment of cells by agents that increase intracellular cAMP (forskolin, isobutylmethyl xanthine) significantly inhibited PCA induction ( < 0.02). These results demonstrate that induction of macrophage PCA by MHV-3 involves PKC, but proceeds independently of changes in intracellular calcium, and that PCA expression is down-regulated by increases in intracellular cAMP.


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