Transcriptome Profiling of the Virus-Induced Innate Immune Response in Pteropus vampyrus and Its Attenuation by Nipah Virus Interferon Antagonist Functions.J Virol. 2015 Aug; 89(15):7550-66.JV
Bats are important reservoirs for several viruses, many of which cause lethal infections in humans but have reduced pathogenicity in bats. As the innate immune response is critical for controlling viruses, the nature of this response in bats and how it may differ from that in other mammals are of great interest. Using next-generation transcriptome sequencing (mRNA-seq), we profiled the transcriptional response of Pteropus vampyrus bat kidney (PVK) cells to Newcastle disease virus (NDV), an avian paramyxovirus known to elicit a strong innate immune response in mammalian cells. The Pteropus genus is a known reservoir of Nipah virus (NiV) and Hendra virus (HeV). Analysis of the 200 to 300 regulated genes showed that genes for interferon (IFN) and antiviral pathways are highly upregulated in NDV-infected PVK cells, including genes for beta IFN, RIG-I, MDA5, ISG15, and IRF1. NDV-infected cells also upregulated several genes not previously characterized to be antiviral, such as RND1, SERTAD1, CHAC1, and MORC3. In fact, we show that MORC3 is induced by both IFN and NDV infection in PVK cells but is not induced by either stimulus in human A549 cells. In contrast to NDV infection, HeV and NiV infection of PVK cells failed to induce these innate immune response genes. Likewise, an attenuated response was observed in PVK cells infected with recombinant NDVs expressing the NiV IFN antagonist proteins V and W. This study provides the first global profile of a robust virus-induced innate immune response in bats and indicates that henipavirus IFN antagonist mechanisms are likely active in bat cells.
Bats are the reservoir host for many highly pathogenic human viruses, including henipaviruses, lyssaviruses, severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus, and filoviruses, and many other viruses have also been isolated from bats. Viral infections are reportedly asymptomatic or heavily attenuated in bat populations. Despite their ecological importance to viral maintenance, research into their immune system and mechanisms for viral control has only recently begun. Nipah virus and Hendra virus are two paramyxoviruses associated with high mortality rates in humans and whose reservoir is the Pteropus genus of bats. Greater knowledge of the innate immune response of P. vampyrus bats to viral infection may elucidate how bats serve as a reservoir for so many viruses.