Replication characteristics of porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome virus (PRRSV) European subtype 1 (Lelystad) and subtype 3 (Lena) strains in nasal mucosa and cells of the monocytic lineage: indications for the use of new receptors of PRRSV (Lena).

Veterinary research

PubMedID: 24007551

Frydas IS, Verbeeck M, Cao J, Nauwynck HJ. Replication characteristics of porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome virus (PRRSV) European subtype 1 (Lelystad) and subtype 3 (Lena) strains in nasal mucosa and cells of the monocytic lineage: indications for the use of new receptors of PRRSV (Lena). Vet Res. 2013;44(1):73.
Recently, it has been demonstrated that subtype 3 strains of European type porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome virus (PRRSV) are more virulent/pathogenic than subtype 1 strains. This points to differences in the pathogenesis. In the present study, a new polarized nasal mucosa explant system was used to study the invasion of the low virulent subtype 1 PRRSV strain Lelystad (LV) and the highly virulent subtype 3 PRRSV strain Lena at the portal of entry. Different cell types of the monocytic lineage (alveolar macrophages (PAM), cultured blood monocytes and monocyte-derived dendritic cells (moDC)) were enclosed to examine replication kinetics of both strains in their putative target cells. At 0, 12, 24, 48 and 72 hours post inoculation (hpi), virus production was analyzed and the infected cells were quantified and identified. Lena replicated much more efficiently than LV in the nasal mucosa explants and to a lesser extent in PAM. Differences in replication were not found in monocytes and moDC. Confocal microscopy demonstrated that for LV, almost all viral antigen positive cells were CD163+Sialoadhesin (Sn)+, which were mainly located in the lamina propria of the respiratory mucosa. In Lena-infected nasal mucosa, CD163+Sn+, CD163+Sn- and to a lesser extent CD163-Sn- monocytic subtypes were involved in infection. CD163+Sn- cells were mostly located within or in the proximity of the epithelium. Our results show that, whereas LV replicates in a restricted subpopulation of CD163+Sn+ monocytic cells in the upper respiratory tract, Lena hijacks a broader range of subpopulations to spread within the mucosa. Replication in CD163+Sn- cells suggests that an alternative entry receptor may contribute to the wider tropism of Lena.