Molecular mechanisms of primary and secondary mucosal immunity using avian infectious bronchitis virus as a model system
Although mucosal immune responses are critical for protection of hosts from clinical illness and even mortality caused by mucosal pathogens, the molecular mechanism of mucosal immunity, which is independent of systemic immunity, remains elusive. To explore the mechanistic basis of mucosal protective immunity, gene transcriptional profiling in mucosal tissues was evaluated after the primary and secondary immunization of animals with an attenuated avian infectious bronchitis virus (IBV), a prototype of Coronavirus and a well-characterized mucosal pathogen. Results showed that a number of innate immune factors including toll-like receptors (TLRs), retinoic-acid-inducible gene-1 (RIG-1), type I interferons (IFNs), complements, and interleukin-1 beta (IL-1beta) were activated locally after the primary immunization. This was accompanied or immediately followed by a potent Th1 adaptive immunity as evidenced by the activation of T-cell signaling molecules, surface markers, and effector molecules. A strong humoral immune response as supported by the significantly up-regulated immunoglobulin (Ig) gamma chain was observed in the absence of innate, Th1 adaptive immunity, or IgA up-regulation after the secondary immunization, indicating that the local memory response is dominated by IgG. Overall, the results provided the first detailed kinetics on the molecular basis underlying the development of primary and secondary mucosal immunity. The key molecular signatures identified may provide new opportunities for improved prophylactic and therapeutic strategies to combat mucosal infections.
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