Systemic and local infection routes govern different cellular dissemination pathways during gammaherpesvirus infection In Vivo

Aurore Vidy, Torsten Sacher, Heiko Adler, Stefan Jordan, Ulrich H. Koszinowski, Zsolt Ruzsics

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Human gammaherpesviruses cause morbidity and mortality associated with infection and transformation of lymphoid and endothelial cells. Knowledge of cell types involved in virus dissemination from primary virus entry to virus latency is fundamental for the understanding of gammaherpesvirus pathogenesis. However, the inability to directly trace cell types with respect to virus dissemination pathways has prevented definitive conclusions regarding the relative contribution of individual cell types. Here, we describe that the route of infection affects gammaherpesvirus dissemination pathways. We constructed a recombinant murine gammaherpesvirus 68 (MHV-68) variant harboring a cassette which switches fluorescent markers in a Cre-dependent manner. Since the recombinant virus which was constructed on the wild-type background was attenuated, in this study we used an M1-deleted version, which infected mice with normal kinetics. Infection of Cre-transgenic mice with this convertible virus was used to estimate the quantitative contribution of defined cell types to virus productivity and dissemination during the acute phase of MHV-68 infection. In systemic infection, we found splenic vascular endothelial cells (EC) among the first and main cells to produce virus. After local infection, the contribution of EC to splenic virus production did not represent such early kinetics. However, at later time points, B cell-derived viruses dominated splenic productivity independently of systemic or local infection. Systemic versus local infection also governed the cell types involved in loading peritoneal exudate cells, leading to latency in F4/ 80- and CD11b-positive target cells. Systemic infection supported EC-driven dissemination, whereas local infection supported B cell-driven dissemination.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)4596-4608
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Virology
Issue number8
StatePublished - Apr 2013
Externally publishedYes


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