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Evaluation of the immunomodulatory and antiviral effects of the cytokine combination IFN-α and IL-7 in the lymphocytic choriomeningitis virus and Friend retrovirus mouse infection models


Audigé, Annette; Hofer, Ursula; Dittmer, Ulf; van den Broek, Maries; Speck, Roberto F (2011). Evaluation of the immunomodulatory and antiviral effects of the cytokine combination IFN-α and IL-7 in the lymphocytic choriomeningitis virus and Friend retrovirus mouse infection models. Viral Immunology, 24(5):375-85.

Abstract

Existing therapies for chronic viral infections are still suboptimal or have considerable side effects, so new therapeutic strategies need to be developed. One option is to boost the host's immune response with cytokines. We have recently shown in an acute ex vivo HIV infection model that co-administration of interferon (IFN)-α and interleukin (IL)-7 allows us to combine the potent anti-HIV activity of IFN-α with the beneficial effects of IL-7 on T-cell survival and function. Here we evaluated the effect of combining IFN-α and IL-7 on viral replication in vivo in the chronic lymphocytic choriomeningitis virus (LCMV) and acute Friend retrovirus (FV) infection models. In the chronic LCMV model, cytokine treatment was started during the early replication phase (i.e., on day 7 post-infection [pi]). Under the experimental conditions used, exogenous IFN-α inhibited FV replication, but had no effect on viral replication in the LCMV model. There was no therapeutic benefit of IL-7 either alone or in combination with IFN-α in either of the two infection models. In the LCMV model, dose-dependent effects of the cytokine combination on T-cell phenotype/function were observed. It is possible that these effects would translate into antiviral activity in re-challenged mice. It is also possible that another type of IFN-α/β or induction of endogenous IFN-α/β alone or in combination with IL-7 would have antiviral activity in the LCMV model. Furthermore, we cannot exclude that some effect on viral titers would have been seen at later time points not investigated here (i.e., beyond day 34 pi). Finally, IFN-α/IL-7 may inhibit the replication of other viruses. Thus it might be worth testing these cytokines in other in vivo models of chronic viral infections.

Abstract

Existing therapies for chronic viral infections are still suboptimal or have considerable side effects, so new therapeutic strategies need to be developed. One option is to boost the host's immune response with cytokines. We have recently shown in an acute ex vivo HIV infection model that co-administration of interferon (IFN)-α and interleukin (IL)-7 allows us to combine the potent anti-HIV activity of IFN-α with the beneficial effects of IL-7 on T-cell survival and function. Here we evaluated the effect of combining IFN-α and IL-7 on viral replication in vivo in the chronic lymphocytic choriomeningitis virus (LCMV) and acute Friend retrovirus (FV) infection models. In the chronic LCMV model, cytokine treatment was started during the early replication phase (i.e., on day 7 post-infection [pi]). Under the experimental conditions used, exogenous IFN-α inhibited FV replication, but had no effect on viral replication in the LCMV model. There was no therapeutic benefit of IL-7 either alone or in combination with IFN-α in either of the two infection models. In the LCMV model, dose-dependent effects of the cytokine combination on T-cell phenotype/function were observed. It is possible that these effects would translate into antiviral activity in re-challenged mice. It is also possible that another type of IFN-α/β or induction of endogenous IFN-α/β alone or in combination with IL-7 would have antiviral activity in the LCMV model. Furthermore, we cannot exclude that some effect on viral titers would have been seen at later time points not investigated here (i.e., beyond day 34 pi). Finally, IFN-α/IL-7 may inhibit the replication of other viruses. Thus it might be worth testing these cytokines in other in vivo models of chronic viral infections.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:04 Faculty of Medicine > University Hospital Zurich > Clinic for Infectious Diseases
Dewey Decimal Classification:610 Medicine & health
Language:English
Date:2011
Deposited On:16 Jan 2012 21:58
Last Modified:05 Apr 2016 15:24
Publisher:Mary Ann Liebert
ISSN:0882-8245
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1089/vim.2011.0006
PubMed ID:21929334

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