Interferon regulatory factor 1 protects against chikungunya virus-induced immunopathology by restricting infection in muscle cells

Sharmila Nair, Subhajit Poddar, Raeann M. Shimak, Michael S. Diamond

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

32 Scopus citations

Abstract

The innate immune system protects cells against viral pathogens in part through the autocrine and paracrine actions of alpha/beta interferon (IFN-α/β) (type I), IFN-γ (type II), and IFN-λ (type III). The transcription factor interferon regulatory factor 1 (IRF-1) has a demonstrated role in shaping innate and adaptive antiviral immunity by inducing the expression of IFN-stimulated genes (ISGs) and mediating signals downstream of IFN-γ. Although ectopic expression experiments have suggested an inhibitory function of IRF-1 against infection of alphaviruses in cell culture, its role in vivo remains unknown. Here, we infected Irf1 -/- mice with two distantly related arthritogenic alphaviruses, chikungunya virus (CHIKV) and Ross River virus (RRV), and assessed the early antiviral functions of IRF-1 prior to induction of adaptive B and T cell responses. IRF-1 expression limited CHIKV-induced foot swelling in joint-associated tissues and prevented dissemination of CHIKV and RRV at early time points. Virological and histological analyses revealed greater infection of muscle tissues in Irf1 -/- mice than in wild-type mice. The antiviral actions of IRF-1 appeared to be independent of the induction of type I IFN or the effects of type II and III IFNs but were associated with altered local proinflammatory cytokine and chemokine responses and differential infiltration of myeloid cell subsets. Collectively, our in vivo experiments suggest that IRF-1 restricts CHIKV and RRV infection in stromal cells, especially muscle cells, and that this controls local inflammation and joint-associated swelling.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere01419-17
JournalJournal of virology
Volume91
Issue number22
DOIs
StatePublished - Nov 1 2017

Keywords

  • Alphavirus
  • Chikungunya virus
  • Interferon
  • Interferon regulatory factor 1
  • Interferon-stimulated genes
  • Ross River virus

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