Characterization of sex differences in ocular herpes simplex virus 1 infection and herpes stromal keratitis pathogenesis of wildtype and herpesvirus entry mediator knockout mice

Rachel E. Riccio, Seo J. Park, Richard Longnecker*, Sarah J. Kopp

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations

Abstract

Sex differences related to immune response and inflammation play a role in the susceptibility and pathogenesis of a variety of viral infections and disease (S. L. Klein, Bioessays 34:1050 -1059, 2012, https://doi.org/10.1002/bies.201200099). Herpes simplex virus 1 (HSV-1) causes chronic inflammatory disease in the cornea, an immune-privileged tissue, resulting in irreversible damage and blindness in affected individuals (A. Rowe, A. St Leger, S. Jeon, D. K. Dhaliwal, et al., Prog Retin Eye Res 32:88 -101, 2013, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.preteyeres.2012.08.002). Our research focuses on the role of herpesvirus entry mediator (HVEM) as an immune regulator during ocular HSV-1 infection. Mice lacking HVEM (HVEM knockout [KO] mice) exhibit lower levels of immune cell infiltrates and less severe ocular disease in the cornea than wild-type (WT) mice. As sex differences contribute to pathogenesis in many inflammatory diseases, we tested whether sex acts as a biological variable in the immune response to HSV-1 infection and herpes stromal keratitis (HSK) pathogenesis. Adult male and female WT and HVEM KO mice were inoculated with HSV-1 via corneal scarification and monitored daily for disease course. Viral titers were determined, and immune cell infiltrates were collected and analyzed. Our results indicated no significant differences in viral titers in tear film or affected tissues, in immune cell infiltration, or in clinical symptoms between males and females of either genotype. These results suggest that sex is not a significant biological variable in this experimental model and that male and female mice of the C57BL/6 background can be used similarly in studies of ocular HSV-1 pathogenesis.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere00073-19
JournalmSphere
Volume4
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 1 2019

Keywords

  • Herpes simplex virus
  • Herpes stromal keratitis
  • Ocular
  • Sex differences

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Microbiology
  • Molecular Biology

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