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Heather M. Cathcart, Mei Zheng, Jason J. Covar, Yi Liu, Robert Podolsky, Sally S. Atherton; Interferon-gamma, Macrophages, and Virus Spread after HSV-1 Injection. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2011;52(7):3984-3993. doi: https://doi.org/10.1167/iovs.10-6449.
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After uniocular anterior chamber (AC) injection of HSV-1, the anterior segment of BALB/c mice becomes inflamed and infected; however, virus does not spread from the anterior segment to cause retinitis in the injected eye. The purpose of these studies was to determine whether interferon (IFN-)-γ and Mac-1+ cells play a role in preventing direct anterior-to-posterior spread of HSV-1 in the injected eye.
One AC of adult female BALB/c mice was injected with HSV-1 (KOS). The location of IFN-α, IFN-β, and IFN-γ in the injected eye was determined by immunofluorescence, and mRNA expression was quantified by qPCR. Injected eyes of IFN-γ knockout or clodronate-treated macrophage-depleted mice were examined to determine whether the absence of IFN-γ or Mac-1+ macrophages affected the sites or timing of virus spread.
IFN-α, IFN-β, and IFN-γ were observed in the anterior segment of injected eyes through 72 hours and mRNA levels of IFN-β and IFN-γ were increased in virus-infected eyes 48 to 120 hours after infection. However, the absence of IFN-γ or macrophages did not affect either the sites or the timing of HSV-1 infection in injected eyes.
Protection of the retina of the injected eye does not depend on a single cell type or cytokine. In addition, in the eye, as in other sites of the body, there are redundancies in the innate response to virus infection.
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