Effects of pseudorabies virus infection upon cytotoxicity and antiviral activities of porcine alveolar macrophages

Gerardo Iglesias, Carlos Pijoan, Thomas Molitor

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13 Scopus citations


Alveolar macrophages (AM) infected with Pseudorabies virus (PRV) were compared to noninfected AM for cytotoxicity against foreign or transformed cells and production of interferon (IFN). Five PRV strains were used to infect AM including strains that are known to be highly virulent for pigs, i.e. strain 4892 and strain S-62 as well as strains that are regarded as mild or nonvirulent, i.e. BUK and Bartha. The multiplicity of infection ranged from 0.005 to 0.05 TCID50/cell. The target cells in the cytotoxicity assays were either chicken red blood cells, PRV-infected vero cells, or human myeloblastoma cells (K562 cell line). For the producton of IFN, AM cultures were treated with polyinosinic: polycytidylic acid (Poly I:C) diluted in tissue culture media at a concentration of 5 μg/106 cells. Culture supernatants were collected at various times poststimulation and tested for antiviral activity using the Vesicular Stomatitis Virus replication inhibition test. Swine AM were able to lyse chicken red blood cells in an antibody-independent way but not in an antibody-dependent way, whereas lysis of PRV-infected vero cells was accomplished both ways. The cytotoxicity against chicken red blood cells was reduced in the PRV-infected AM as compared to noninfected cells, particularly in AM infected with virulent PRV strains. Specific 51Cr release values for AM infected with S-62 and 4892 strains were 14 and 19, while the noninfected AM had values of 36. Similarly, in the antibody-dependent cytotoxicity assay against PRV-infected vero cells there was no activity of AM against K562 cells. The production of IFN was readily stimulated with Poly I:C. The optimal time for supernatant collection was between 12 and 16h poststimulation. The antiviral activity was abrogated by treatment of the supernatant with antiserum against human leukocyte IFN; it was therefore considered to be due to interferon-alpha (IFNα) released from the macrophages. The antiviral activity present in supernatants of PRV-infected AM was reduced compared to noninfected AM. The difference between AM cultures infected with virulent strains of PRV and noninfected AM cultures was statistically significant at P ≤ 0.025. The results provide support to the premise that the role of AM in lung defense can be compromised by PRV infection.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)249-259
Number of pages11
JournalComparative Immunology, Microbiology and Infectious Diseases
Issue number4
StatePublished - Oct 1992


  • Aujeszky's disease virus
  • Pseudorabies
  • alveolar macrophages
  • cytotoxicity
  • interferon alpha


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