Cytokine Gene Expression in Lung Mononuclear Cells of Chickens Vaccinated with Herpesvirus of Turkeys and Infected with Marek’s Disease Virus

Viral Immunol. 2015 Nov;28(9):538-43. doi: 10.1089/vim.2015.0054. Epub 2015 Oct 8.


Marek’s disease virus (MDV) enters the chicken host through the respiratory system. However, little is known about the host immune responses induced by MDV in the lungs. To characterize these responses, chickens were vaccinated with herpesvirus of turkeys (HVT) and challenged with the RB1B strain of MDV via the respiratory route. Lung mononuclear cells of vaccinated only, challenged only, vaccinated and challenged, as well as age-matched controls were isolated at 4, 10, and 21 days post-infection. Real-time quantitative reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction was used to assess the expression of various cytokines. There was significant upregulation of interferon (IFN)-γ and interleukin (IL)-10 in lung mononuclear cells of HVT-vaccinated and RB1B challenged and unvaccinated and RB1B challenged chickens. However, in lung mononuclear cells isolated from chickens that were vaccinated with HVT but remained uninfected, there was an upregulation of IL-4 and IL-13. This study indicates that MDV- and HVT-associated cytokines expressed by lung mononuclear cells are temporally regulated and that these cytokines may be involved in immunity against the virus.


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