[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: West Nile virus (WNV) is a neurotropic, mosquito-borne flavivirus that can cause lethal meningoencephalitis. Type I interferon (IFN) plays a critical role in controlling WNV replication, spread, and tropism. In this study, we begin to examine the effector mechanisms by which type I IFN inhibits WNV infection. Mice lacking both the interferon-induced, double-stranded-RNA-activated protein kinase (PKR) and the endoribonuclease of the 2',5'-oligoadenylate synthetase-RNase L system (PKR(-/-) x RL(-/-)) were highly susceptible to subcutaneous WNV infection, with a 90% mortality rate compared to the 30% mortality rate observed in congenic wild-type mice. PKR(-/-) x RL(-/-) mice had increased viral loads in their draining lymph nodes, sera, and spleens, which led to early viral entry into the central nervous system (CNS) and higher viral burden in neuronal tissues. Although mice lacking RNase L showed a higher CNS viral burden and an increased mortality, they were less susceptible than the PKR(-/-) x RL(-/-) mice; thus, we also infer an antiviral role for PKR in the control of WNV infection. Notably, a deficiency in both PKR and RNase L resulted in a decreased ability of type I IFN to inhibit WNV in primary macrophages and cortical neurons. In contrast, the peripheral neurons of the superior cervical ganglia of PKR(-/-) x RL(-/-) mice showed no deficiency in the IFN-mediated inhibition of WNV. Our data suggest that PKR and RNase L contribute to IFN-mediated protection in a cell-restricted manner and control WNV infection in peripheral tissues and some neuronal subtypes.
Journal of Virology 08/2006; 80(14):7009-19. · 5.08 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: West Nile virus (WNV) causes a severe central nervous system (CNS) infection in humans, primarily in the elderly and immunocompromised. Prior studies have established an essential protective role of several innate immune response elements, including alpha/beta interferon (IFN-alpha/beta), immunoglobulin M, gammadelta T cells, and complement against WNV infection. In this study, we demonstrate that a lack of IFN-gamma production or signaling results in increased vulnerability to lethal WNV infection by a subcutaneous route in mice, with a rise in mortality from 30% (wild-type mice) to 90% (IFN-gamma(-/-) or IFN-gammaR(-/-) mice) and a decrease in the average survival time. This survival pattern in IFN-gamma(-/-) and IFN-gammaR(-/-) mice correlated with higher viremia and greater viral replication in lymphoid tissues. The increase in peripheral infection led to early CNS seeding since infectious WNV was detected several days earlier in the brains and spinal cords of IFN-gamma(-/-) or IFN-gammaR(-/-) mice. Bone marrow reconstitution experiments showed that gammadelta T cells require IFN-gamma to limit dissemination by WNV. Moreover, treatment of primary dendritic cells with IFN-gamma reduced WNV production by 130-fold. Collectively, our experiments suggest that the dominant protective role of IFN-gamma against WNV is antiviral in nature, occurs in peripheral lymphoid tissues, and prevents viral dissemination to the CNS.
Journal of Virology 07/2006; 80(11):5338-48. · 5.08 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Previous studies have suggested that alpha-glucosidase inhibitors such as castanospermine and deoxynojirimycin inhibit dengue virus type 1 infection by disrupting the folding of the structural proteins prM and E, a step crucial to viral secretion. We extend these studies by evaluating the inhibitory activity of castanospermine against a panel of clinically important flaviviruses including all four serotypes of dengue virus, yellow fever virus, and West Nile virus. Using in vitro assays we demonstrated that infections by all serotypes of dengue virus were inhibited by castanospermine. In contrast, yellow fever virus and West Nile virus were partially and almost completely resistant to the effects of the drug, respectively. Castanospermine inhibited dengue virus infection at the level of secretion and infectivity of viral particles. Importantly, castanospermine prevented mortality in a mouse model of dengue virus infection, with doses of 10, 50, and 250 mg/kg of body weight per day being highly effective at promoting survival (P < or = 0.0001). Correspondingly, castanospermine had no adverse or protective effect on West Nile virus mortality in an analogous mouse model. Overall, our data suggest that castanospermine has a strong antiviral effect on dengue virus infection and warrants further development as a possible treatment in humans.
Journal of Virology 07/2005; 79(14):8698-706. · 5.08 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Infection with West Nile virus (WNV) causes a severe infection of the central nervous system (CNS) with higher levels of morbidity and mortality in the elderly and the immunocompromised. Experiments with mice have begun to define how the innate and adaptive immune responses function to limit infection. Here, we demonstrate that the complement system, a major component of innate immunity, controls WNV infection in vitro primarily in an antibody-dependent manner by neutralizing virus particles in solution and lysing WNV-infected cells. More decisively, mice that genetically lack the third component of complement or complement receptor 1 (CR1) and CR2 developed increased CNS virus burdens and were vulnerable to lethal infection at a low dose of WNV. Both C3-deficient and CR1- and CR2-deficient mice also had significant deficits in their humoral responses after infection with markedly reduced levels of specific anti-WNV immunoglobulin M (IgM) and IgG. Overall, these results suggest that complement controls WNV infection, in part through its ability to induce a protective antibody response.
Journal of Virology 07/2005; 79(12):7466-77. · 5.08 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Alpha-glucosidase I inhibitors have been shown to inhibit the replication of a broad range of enveloped viruses by preventing the correct folding of their envelope glycoproteins. This study assesses the potential of 6 O-butanoyl castanospermine (celgosivir) as a treatment for hepatitis C virus (HCV). In the absence of an adequate culture system for HCV, the closely related virus, bovine viral diarrhoea virus (BVDV), was used as a surrogate model. Using both a plaque assay and a cytopathic effect assay, celgosivir (IC50 16 and 47 microM respectively) was shown to be more potent than N-nonyl DNJ (105 and 74 microM), castanospermine (110 and 367 microM) and N-butyl DNJ (> 250 and 550 microM). Of the alpha-glucosidase inhibitors tested, only N-nonyl DNJ showed evidence of toxicity (CC50 > or = 120 microM). Two-way combinations of interferon-alpha, ribavirin and either celgosivir or castanospermine demonstrated that each could enhance the antiviral efficacy of the others, either additively or synergistically. The observation that the number of viral genomes released from BVDV-infected cells was inhibited by either castanospermine or celgosivir in parallel with the number of infectious units was taken as confirmation that these alpha-glucosidase I inhibitors block the production or release of flavivirus particles.