Immunohistochemical expression of IL-12, IL-10, IFN-α and IFN-γ in lymphoid organs of porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome virus-infected pigs.Vet Immunol Immunopathol. 2012 Oct 15; 149(3-4):262-71.VI
Despite the numerous studies carried out, the mechanisms used by porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome (PRRS) virus (PRRSV) to impair the host immune response are not yet clear. The aim of this study was to determine the expression of IL-12, IL-10, IFN-α and IFN-γ in lymphoid organs of PRRSV experimentally-infected pigs. Twenty eight piglets were inoculated with PRRSV field isolate 2982 and killed in batches of four at 3, 7, 10, 14, 17, 21 and 24 days post-inoculation (dpi). Control animals were mock-inoculated and killed at the end of the study. Samples from mediastinal and retropharyngeal lymph nodes and tonsil were collected and fixed for histopathological and immunohistochemical analyses. PRRSV antigen was mainly detected in the cytoplasm of macrophages, displaying a bimodal expression with a first peak at 3-7 dpi and a second peak at 14 dpi. The expression of IFN-α showed an early enhancement at 3 dpi, and both IL-12 and IFN-γ displayed a similar trend in all the lymphoid organs analysed, showing an increase at 3-7 dpi and at 14-17 dpi. On the other hand, the expression of IL-10 was lower than the one observed for the other cytokines. The expression of IL-10 compared with the higher expression of IL-12, IFN-α and IFN-γ detected in this study, indicates that other mechanisms besides the expression of IL-10 play a role in the inducement of an erratic host immune response. Taking into account the enhanced expression of IFNs together with the detection of PRRSV antigen until the end of the study in the examined lymphoid organs, further studies are being conducted to rule out a down-regulation in IFN signalling pathway.