Herpes virus entry mediator (HVEM) is one of two principal receptors mediating herpes simplex virus (HSV) entry into murine and human cells. It functions naturally as an immune signaling co-receptor, and may participate in enhancing or repressing immune responses depending on the natural ligand used. To investigate whether engagement of HVEM by HSV affects the in vivo response to HSV infection, we generated recombinants of HSV-2(333) that expressed wild-type gD (HSV-2/ gD) or mutant gD able to bind to nectin-1 (the other principal entry receptor) but not HVEM. Replication kinetics and yields of the recombinant strains on Vero cells were indistinguishable from those of wild-type HSV-2(333). After intravaginal inoculation with mutant or wild-type virus, adult female C57BL/6 mice developed vaginal lesions and mortality in similar proportions, and mucosal viral titers were similar or lower for mutant strains at different times. Relative to HSV-2/gD, percentages of HSV-specific CD8+ T-cells were similar or only slightly reduced after infection with the mutant strain HSV-2/ gD-Δ7-15, in all tissues up to 9 days after infection. Levels of HSV-specific CD4+ T-cells five days after infection also did not differ after infection with either strain. Levels of the cytokine IL-6 and of the chemokines CXCL9, CXCL10, and CCL4 were significantly lower in vaginal washes one day after infection with HSV-2/gD compared with HSV-2/gD-Δ7-15. We conclude that the interaction of HSV gD with HVEM may alter early innate events in the murine immune response to infection, without significantly affecting acute mortality, morbidity, or initial T-cell responses after lethal challenge.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
- Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)