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Open Access Research

Strong innate immune response and cell death in chicken splenocytes infected with genotype VIId Newcastle disease virus

Zenglei Hu1, Jiao Hu1, Shunlin Hu1, Xiaowen Liu1, Xiaoquan Wang1, Jie Zhu1 and Xiufan Liu12*

Author Affiliations

1 Animal Infectious Disease Laboratory, School of Veterinary Medicine, Yangzhou University, 12 East Wenhui Road, Yangzhou Jiangsu Province, 225009, China

2 Ministry of Education Key Lab for Avian Preventive Medicine, School of Veterinary Medicine, Yangzhou University, 12 East Wenhui Road, Yangzhou Jiangsu Province, 225009, China

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Virology Journal 2012, 9:208  doi:10.1186/1743-422X-9-208

Published: 18 September 2012

Abstract

Background

Genotype VIId Newcastle disease virus (NDV) isolates induce more severe damage to lymphoid tissues, especially to the spleen, when compared to virulent viruses of other genotypes. However, the biological basis of the unusual pathological changes remains largely unknown.

Methods

Virus replication, cytokine gene expression profile and cell death response in chicken splenocytes infected with two genotype VIId NDV strains (JS5/05 and JS3/05), genotype IX NDV strain F48E8 and genotype IV NDV strain Herts/33 were evaluated. Statistical significance of differences between experimental groups was determined using the Independent-Samples T test.

Results

JS5/05 and JS3/05 caused hyperinduction of type I interferons (IFNs) (IFN-α and -β) during detection period compared to F48E8 and Herts/33. JS5/05 increased expression level of IFN-γ gene at 6 h post-inoculation (pi) and JS3/05 initiated sustained activation of IFN-γ within 24 h pi, whereas transcriptional levels of IFN-γ remained unchanged at any of the time points during infection of F48E8 and Herts/33. In addition, compared to F48E8 and Herts/33, JS3/05 and JS5/05 significantly increased the amount of free nucleosomal DNA in splenocytes at 6 and 24 h pi respectively. Annexin-V and Proidium iodid (PI) double staining of infected cells showed that cell death induced by JS3/05 and JS5/05 was characterized by marked necrosis compared to F48E8 and Herts/33 at 24 h pi. These results indicate that genotype VIId NDV strains JS3/05 and JS5/05 elicited stronger innate immune and cell death responses in chicken splenocytes than F48E8 and Herts/33. JS5/05 replicated at a significantly higher efficiency in splenocytes than F48E8 and Herts/33. Early excessive cell death induced by JS3/05 infection partially impaired virus replication.

Conclusions

Viral dysregulaiton of host response may be relevant to the severe pathological manifestation in the spleen following genotype VIId NDV infection.

Keywords:
Innate immune response; Cell death; Splenic necrosis; Genotype VIId Newcastle disease virus