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J L Taylor, W J O'Brien; Interferon production and sensitivity of rabbit corneal epithelial and stromal cells.. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 1985;26(11):1502-1508.
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The induction of interferon and the ability of interferon to induce the antiviral state were studied using rabbit corneal epithelial and stromal cells which were cultured for fewer than five passages. Interferon titers in the range of 7000 units/ml were induced in epithelial cell cultures and 76,000 units/ml in stromal cell cultures treated with UV-inactivated bluetongue virus. The interferon induced was stable to pH 2.0 treatment and heating to 56 degrees C for 16 hr. Infection of epithelial and stromal cell cultures with various strains of herpes simplex virus type 1 showed that all strains tested replicated to equivalent titers in the respective cell types, and that no detectable interferon was induced in stromal cells and only trace amounts in epithelial cells. Exogenously supplied rabbit interferon induced the antiviral state in cultures of both cell types restricting the replication of not only encephalomyocarditis virus but also herpes simplex virus. Sixty to ninety units of rabbit interferon reduced HSV-1 virus replication by 50%. Human interferons had less than 27% of the antiviral activity in rabbit cells than they had in a human cell line. The data indicate that exogenously supplied interferon may act to reduce the severity of herpetic keratitis by directly inducing the antiviral state in corneal epithelial and stromal cells. However, interferon endogenously produced by rabbit corneal cells in response to HSV-1 infection probably plays a minor role in the pathogenesis of ocular HSV-1 infections.
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