1887

Abstract

In the present study, equine herpesvirus-1 (EHV-1)-infected cells were identified in ionomycin/phorbol dibutyrate (IONO/PDB)-stimulated peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMC) and the mechanism by which stimulation increases the percentage of infected cells was examined. In the population of viral antigen-positive PBMC, 38·4±4·5% were CD5 T-lymphocytes (18·1±3·2% CD4 13·6±1·8% CD8), 18·1±5·4% were B-lymphocytes, 8·5±3·9% were monocytes and 35% remained unidentified. The role of the cell cycle in the increased susceptibility to EHV-1 upon stimulation was examined by stimulating PBMC for 0, 12, 24 or 36 h prior to inoculation. A high correlation was found between the increase of cells in the S- (=0·974) and G/M-phase (=0·927) at the moment of inoculation and the increase of infected cells at 12 h post-inoculation (p.i.). This suggests that a specific stage of the S-phase or S- and G/M-phase facilitates virus replication. At 24 h p.i. lower correlations were found, suggesting that other effects are involved. From 12 h after addition of IONO/PDB, formation of clusters of PBMC became manifest. We examined whether close intercellular contacts in these clusters facilitated cell-to-cell transmission of EHV-1. Between 8 and 17 h p.i., the percentage of clusters containing adjacent infected cells increased from 1·6 to 13·4% and the maximal number of adjacent infected cells increased from two to four. Confocal microscopy visualized close intercellular contacts between adjacent infected cells. It can be concluded that mitogen stimulation favours EHV-1 infection of PBMC (i) by initiating specific cell cycle events and (ii) by inducing formation of clusters, thereby facilitating transmission of virus between cells.

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2001-08-01
2020-01-25
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