Hantaviruses cause a persistent infection in reservoir hosts that is attributed to the upregulation of regulatory responses and downregulation of proinflammatory responses. To determine whether rat alveolar macrophages (AMs) and lung microvascular endothelial cells (LMVECs) support Seoul virus (SEOV) replication and contribute to the induction of an environment that polarizes CD4+ T cell differentiation toward a regulatory T (Treg) cell phenotype, cultured primary rat AMs and LMVECs were mock infected or infected with SEOV and analyzed for viral replication, cytokine and chemokine responses, and expression of cell surface markers that are related to T cell activation. Allogeneic CD4+ T cells were cocultured with SEOV-infected or mockinfected AMs or LMVECs and analyzed for helper T cell (i.e., Treg, Th17, Th1, and Th2) marker expression and Treg cell frequency. SEOV RNA and infectious particles in culture media were detected in both cell types, but at higher levels in LMVECs than in AMs postinfection. Expression of IfnΒ, Ccl5, and Cxcl10 and surface major histocompatibility complex class II (MHC-II) and MHC-I was not altered by SEOV infection in either cell type. SEOV infection significantly increased TgfΒ mRNA in AMs and the amount of programmed cell death 1 ligand 1 (PD-L1) in LMVECs. SEOV-infected LMVECs, but not AMs, induced a significant increase in Foxp3 expression and Treg cell frequency in allogeneic CD4+ T cells, which was virus replication and cell contact dependent. These data suggest that in addition to supporting viral replication, AMs and LMVECs play distinct roles in hantavirus persistence by creating a regulatory environment through increased TgfΒ, PD-L1, and Treg cell activity.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Insect Science