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Open Access Highly Accessed Methodology article

Expression profiling of lymph node cells from deer mice infected with Andes virus

Tony Schountz1*, Timothy I Shaw2, Travis C Glenn23, Heinz Feldmann4 and Joseph Prescott4

Author Affiliations

1 Department of Microbiology, Immunology and Pathology, College of Veterinary Medicine, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, CO, USA

2 Institute of Bioinformatics, University of Georgia, Athens, GA, USA

3 Department of Environmental Health Sciences, University of Georgia, Athens, GA, USA

4 Laboratory of Virology, Division of Intramural Research, National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, National Institutes of Health, Rocky Mountain Laboratories, Hamilton, MT, USA

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BMC Immunology 2013, 14:18  doi:10.1186/1471-2172-14-18

Published: 9 April 2013

Abstract

Background

Deer mice (Peromyscus maniculatus) are the principal reservoir hosts of Sin Nombre virus (SNV), the cause of the great majority of hantavirus cardiopulmonary syndrome (HCPS) cases in North America. SNV, like all hantaviruses with their reservoirs, causes persistent infection without pathology in deer mice and appear to elicit a regulatory T cell response. Deer mice are also susceptible to Andes virus (ANDV), which causes the great majority of HCPS cases in South America, but they clear infection by 56 days post infection without signs of disease.

Results

We examined lymph node cell responses of deer mice infected with ANDV to determine expression profiles upon in vitro recall challenge with viral antigen. Because the deer mouse genome is currently unannotated, we developed a bioinformatics pipeline to use known lab mouse (Mus musculus) cDNAs to predict genes within the deer mouse genome and design primers for quantitative PCR (http://dna.publichealth.uga.edu/BlastPrimer/BlastPrimer.php webcite). Of 94 genes examined, 20 were elevated, the plurality of which were Th2-specific, whereas 12 were downregulated. Other expressed genes represented Th1, regulatory T cells and follicular helper T cells, and B cells, but not Th17 cells, indicating that many cellular phenotypes participate in the host response to Andes virus.

Conclusions

The ability to examine expression levels of nearly any gene from deer mice should allow direct comparison of infection with SNV or ANDV to determine the immunological pathways used for clearance of hantavirus infection in a reservoir host species.