Type I interferons (IFNs) represent an essential innate defense mechanism for controlling enterovirus 71 (EV 71) infection. Mice inoculated with EV 71 produced a significantly lower amount of type I IFNs than those inoculated with poly (I:C), adenovirus type V, or coxsackievirus B3 (CB3). EV 71 infection, however, mounted a proinflammatory response with a significant increase in the levels of serum and brain interleukin (IL)-6, monocyte chemoattractant protein-1, tumor necrosis factor, and IFN-γ. EV 71 infection abolished both poly (I:C)- and CB3-induced type I IFN production of mice. Such effect was not extended to other enteroviruses including coxsackievirus A24, B2, B3, and echovirus 9, as mice infected with these viruses retained type I IFN responsiveness upon poly (I:C) challenge. In addition, EV 71-infected RAW264.7 cells produced significantly lower amount of type I IFNs than non-infected cells upon poly (I:C) stimulation. The inhibitory effect of EV 71 on type I IFN production was attributed to the viral protein 3C, which was confirmed using over-expression systems in both mice and RAW264.7 cells. The 3C over-expression, however, did not interfere with poly (I:C)-induced proinflammatory cytokine production. These findings indicate that EV 71 can hamper the host innate defense by blocking selectively type I IFN synthesis through the 3C viral protein.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Infectious Diseases