Indexed on: 20 Jun '08Published on: 20 Jun '08Published in: Archives of Virology
Different viruses have evolved strategies that inhibit apoptosis of the host cell early in infection and/or induce apoptosis in the host cell late in infection. In this study, it was investigated if and when porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome virus (PRRSV) modulates apoptosis in PRRSV-infected macrophages. The PRRSV replication cycle in macrophages was completed within 12 h post-inoculation (hpi). PRRSV-infected macrophages, treated with staurosporine at 4, 5, 6 and 8 hpi, were significantly protected against staurosporine-induced apoptosis, but PRRSV-infected macrophages, treated with staurosporine at 12 hpi, were not. In contrast, starting from 12 hpi, all PRRSV-infected macrophages died by caspase-dependent apoptosis, which culminated in secondary necrosis. Treatment of PRRSV-infected macrophages with Z-Val-DL-Asp-fluoromethylketone indicated that apoptosis late in infection was not essential for efficient virus release. Anti- and pro-apoptotic activities were also observed in PRRSV-infected Marc-145 cells. In conclusion, this study shows that PRRSV stimulates anti-apoptotic pathways in macrophages early in infection and that PRRSV-infected macrophages die by apoptosis late in infection.