The effect of equine herpesvirus type 4 on type-I interferon signaling molecules
Equine herpesvirus type 4 (EHV-4) is mildly pathogenic but is a common cause of respiratory disease in horses worldwide. We previously demonstrated that unlike EHV-1, EHV-4 is not a potent inducer of type-I IFN and does not suppress that IFN response, especially during late infection, when compared to EHV-1 infection in equine endothelial cells (EECs). Here, we investigated the impact of EHV-4 infection in EECs on type-I IFN signaling molecules at 3, 6, and 12 hpi. Findings from our study revealed that EHV-4 did not induce nor suppress TLR3 and TLR4 expression in EECs at all the studied time points. EHV-4 was able to induce variable amounts of IRF7 and IRF9 in EECs with no evidence of suppressive effect on these important transcription factors of IFN-α/β induction. Intriguingly, EHV-4 did interfere with the phosphorylation of STAT1/STAT2 at 3 hpi and 6 hpi, less so at 12 hpi. An active EHV-4 viral gene expression was required for the suppressive effect of EHV-4 on STAT1/STAT2 phosphorylation during early infection. One or more early viral genes of EHV-4 are involved in the suppression of STAT1/STAT2 phosphorylation observed during early time points in EHV-4-infected EECs. The inability of EHV-4 to significantly down-regulate key molecules of type-I IFN signaling may be related to the lower severity of pathogenesis when compared with EHV-1. Harnessing this knowledge may prove useful in controlling future outbreaks of the disease.
Publication Source (Journal or Book title)
Veterinary immunology and immunopathology
Oladunni, F. S., Reedy, S., Balasuriya, U. B., Horohov, D. W., & Chambers, T. M. (2020). The effect of equine herpesvirus type 4 on type-I interferon signaling molecules. Veterinary immunology and immunopathology, 219, 109971. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.vetimm.2019.109971