The Pattern of Induction of Apoptosis During Infection with MHV-3 Correlates with Strain Variation in Resistance and Susceptibility to Lethal Hepatitis
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In the present study we have investigated the possibility that strain specific differences in the induction of apoptosis in macrophages could play a role in the resistance of strain A/J mice to MHV-3 induced hepatitis. MHV-3 infected macrophages from Balb/c and A/J mice were analyzed at various time points after infection. Apoptosis in A/J macrophages could be detected at 8 h post infection and increased significantly by 12 h, when almost 50–70% of the infected cells were undergoing apoptosis. In Balb/c macrophages, apoptotic changes were less pronounced and were observed in only 5–10% of the cells. MHV-3 induced apoptosis was inversely correlated with the ability of this virus to induce expression of fgl-2 prothrombinase protein and syncytia formation. Infected macrophages from A/J mice did not express fgl-2 protein and did not form syncytia. In contrast, infection of Balb/c derived macrophages resulted in fgl-2 expression and extensive syncytia formation. These data fit a model in which apoptosis of virally infected cells is a protective response which eliminates cells whose survival might be harmful for the whole organism.
KeywordsInfected Macrophage Syncytium Formation Mouse Hepatitis Virus Murine Hepatitis Virus Becton Dickinson FACS
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