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01.12.2019 | Research | Ausgabe 1/2019 Open Access

Journal of Translational Medicine 1/2019

Herpes simplex virus-1 (HSV-1) infection induces a potent but ineffective IFN-λ production in immune cells of AD and PD patients

Journal of Translational Medicine > Ausgabe 1/2019
Francesca La Rosa, Simone Agostini, Anna Bianchi, Raffaello Nemni, Federica Piancone, Ivana Marventano, Roberta Mancuso, Marina Saresella, Mario Clerici
Wichtige Hinweise
Francesca La Rosa and Simone Agostini are Co-Authors

Supplementary information

Supplementary information accompanies this paper at https://​doi.​org/​10.​1186/​s12967-019-2034-9.

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The sequential activation of immediate early (IE), early (E) and late (L) genes is required to allow productive herpes simplex virus type 1 (HSV-1) infection. Several evidences suggest that, together with inflammation, an immunological response incapable to counteract HSV-1 reactivation plays a role in the pathogenesis of Alzheimer’s (AD) and Parkinson’s (PD) diseases. IFN-lambda (IFN-λ), a cytokine endowed with a robust antiviral activity, contains HSV-1 reactivation. HSV-1-induced IFN-λ, IL-10 and IL-1β as well as the expression of viral IE, E and L genes were analyzed in vitro in peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMC) of AD and PD patients as well as of healthy controls (HC).


PBMC of AD, PD and HC were in vitro infected with one multiplicity of infection (1 MOI) HSV-1. IE, E, and L viral genes transcription as well as IFN-λ, IL-10 and IL-1β production were analyzed.


In HSV-1-infected cells of AD and PD patients compared to HC: (1) transcription of IE (ICP0, ICP27) genes was reduced whereas that of E (UL41, UL29) and L (UL48, LAT) genes was increased; (2) IFN-λ mRNA expression was increased. IL-1β was augmented and IL-10 was reduced in unstimulated cells of AD and PD compared to HC; HSV-1 infection significantly increased IL-10 production in HC alone.


Data herein show that a proinflammatory condition is present in AD and PD, in whom attempts to obstacle viral replication via an initial, possibly more potent IFN-λ-mediated control of IE viral genes is unsuccessful.
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