Author(s): He J, Ichimura H, Iida T, Minami M, Kobayashi K,
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Abstract To investigate the role of cytokines in the pathogenesis of acute herpetic keratitis (HK), we examined the kinetics of cytokine expression in the corneas and the trigeminal ganglia (TG) of C57BL/6Cr (B6) mice after herpes simplex virus type 1 (HSV-1) infection and observed the influence of the targeted disruption of interferon-gamma (IFN-gamma) gene on the clinical course of HK and/or viral clearance. Following corneal infection with HSV-1 Amakata strain, all corneas developed a typical dendritic keratitis. Quantitative analysis using enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) revealed that the expression of interleukin-1alpha (IL-1alpha), IL-5, IL-6, and IFN-gamma in corneas and TGs significantly elevated immediately after infection, peaked between days 2 and 7 postinfection (p.i.), and then diminished. One exception was IFN-gamma, whose expression significantly persisted in the TGs until day 30 p.i. An additional experiment using IFN-gamma-/- (gko) mice revealed that there was no significant difference in the peak level of viral replication in corneas and TGs between gko and B6 mice, although gko mice showed a significant delay of virus clearance in both corneas and TGs (p < 0.005) and higher mortality rate than B6 mice after HSV-1 infection (p < 0.01). These data suggest that the production of proinflammatory cytokines closely correlates with the pathogenesis of HK, and that IFN-gamma plays an important role in enhancing viral clearance from the cornea and TG.
This article was published in J Interferon Cytokine Res
and referenced in Journal of Clinical & Cellular Immunology