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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Molecular localization of abortive infection of resident peritoneal macrophages by herpes simplex virus type 1.

Mononuclear phagocytes exhibit different patterns of intrinsic resistance to herpes simplex virus type 1 (HSV-1) that are related to the heterogeneity of macrophage populations and may reflect the particular differentiation or maturation state of the macrophages. In this study, we characterized the molecular basis for the block in HSV-1 replication in resident peritoneal macrophages from B6C3F1 mice. Infected resident peritoneal macrophages were analyzed for the presence of virus-specific mRNA by Northern (RNA) blotting and in situ hybridization and for proteins by immunofluorescence. The data were compared with those obtained in HSV-1-infected permissive Vero cells. The immediate-early genes ICP4, ICP0, ICP22, and ICP27 were transcribed in resident peritoneal macrophages, as was the early gene tk. Virus-specific mRNA for the major DNA-binding protein ICP8 was barely detectable, and that for another early gene, the viral DNA polymerase, was not detected. In addition, transcripts for the delayed-early gene glycoprotein D and the true late gene glycoprotein C (gC) were not detectable in resident peritoneal macrophages. In situ hybridization and immunofluorescence studies confirmed that transcripts and proteins for the immediate-early and some early HSV-1 genes were present. These data also established that 14% of the resident peritoneal macrophages were positive for RNA and polypeptide specific for the immediate-early gene ICP4 and that 7 to 11% were positive for RNA or polypeptides specific for the early genes tk and ICP8. The fact that only a few cells expressed viral products emphasizes the heterogeneity that exists even in this relatively homogeneous resident peritoneal macrophage population. Consistent with the Northern blot analysis, no RNA specific for the early DNA polymerase gene or the late gC gene was detected by in situ hybridization nor could the polypeptide for the gC gene be seen by immunofluorescence. Thus, while early transcriptional events were initiated in some resident peritoneal macrophages, there was a block in replication localized at the level of expression of the early to delayed-early viral genes.[1]


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