We examined the effects of infectious bursal disease virus (IBDV) on splenic T cells and macrophages. In acute IBDV infection, splenocytes responded poorly to Con A stimulation. However, when T cells were isolated from whole spleen cells, purified T cells responded normally to Con A. This result indicated that functional T cells were present in the spleen but mitogen-induced proliferation of T cells was being suppressed by other cells. Previous studies indicated that soluble factors from suppressor cells may mediate this inhibition of T cell mitogenesis. We thus examined the effects of IBDV on spleen adherent cells. Reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) was used to quantitate the expression of several cytokine genes in splenic macrophages. In acute IBDV infection, splenic macrophages exhibited enhanced gene expression of type I interferon (IFN), chicken myelomonocytic growth factor (cMGF), an avian homolog of mammalian IL-6, and 9E3/CEF4, an arian homolog of mammalian IL-8. Mitogen-stimulated spleen cell cultures also produced elevated levels of nitric oxide. The elevation of cytokine gene expression by macrophages occurred transiently during the acute phase of viral infection and coincided with in vitro inhibition of T cell mitogenic response of spleen cells.
- Infectious bursal disease virus
- Polymerase chain reaction (PCR)
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