Granulocyte macrophage colony stimulating factor is elevated in alveolar macrophages from sheep naturally infected with maedi-visna virus and stimulates maedi-visna virus replication in macrophages in vitro

Zhang, Z.; Harkiss, G.D.; Hopkins, J.; Woodall, C.J.

Clinical and Experimental Immunology 129(2): 240-246


ISSN/ISBN: 0009-9104
PMID: 12165079
DOI: 10.1046/j.1365-2249.2002.01826.x
Accession: 003788227

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Infection by maedi-visna virus, a lentivirus of sheep, leads to chronic inflammatory reactions of various tissues. In this report we have analysed the role of specific cytokines in the disease process. A significant increase in expression of interleukin-6, interleukin-10, granulocyte macrophage-colony stimulating factor (GM-CSF) and transforming growth factor- beta 1 mRNA was observed in alveolar macrophages isolated from the lungs of naturally infected animals when compared with lungs of seronegative controls. Levels of GM-CSF mRNA expression in alveolar macrophages correlated with the presence of lung lesions, but there was no correlation of interleukin-10, interleukin-6, tumour necrosis factor- alpha and transforming growth factor- beta 1 mRNA levels in alveolar macrophages from animals with pulmonary lesions. In vitro investigation showed that GM-CSF in the range 0.1-10 ng/ml induced a significant increase in viral p25 production after 7 days in acutely infected blood monocyte-derived macrophages. The production of p25 peaked between 7 and 14 days exposure to 10 ng/ml of GM-CSF. Quantitative polymerase chain reaction showed that the level of viral DNA in monocyte-derived macrophages was dose-dependent following GM-CSF treatment in the range 0.1-100 ng/ml after 7 days. Viral mRNA expression was also enhanced. These findings indicate a role for GM-CSF in the pathogenesis of lymphoid interstitial pneumonia in infected animals.