Understanding the early interactions between vaccinia virus and dendritic cells - towards an enhanced vaccine vector.
In the post smallpox era, vaccinia virus (VACV) has emerged as an important candidate vaccine vector. As yet, the binding receptors and entry mechanisms utilised by the two infectious forms, IMV and EEV, in dendritic cells (DCs) are unknown. We have investigated the interactions between VACV and C-type lectin receptors (CLRs) that are known to be utilised by many other viruses for binding and entry in DCs. Using a variety of CLR ligands and inhibitors we were unable to inhibit IMV or EEV binding to MDDCs and we conclude that they do not bind to CLRs. We have also investigated VACV entry in MDDCs and show that both IMV and EEV enter MDDCs via an endocytic pathway. Using a variety of drugs that inhibit cellular processes we found IMV and EEV entry to be actin- and calcium-dependent. EEV entry was also cholesterol- and energy-dependent, whereas IMV entry was only partially dependent on these factors. Both IMV and EEV colocalised with endolysosomal markers. This data suggests that EEV may enter DCs via caveolin-mediated endocytosis whereas IMV entry can occur via multiple complementary mechanisms, including endocytosis and fusion. Macropinocytosis may also constitute a minor route of entry for IMV as entry was partially inhibited by dimethyl amiloride and the virus colocalised with dextran. Finally we have provided a comprehensive flow cytometric analysis of Toll-like receptor (TLR) expression at the protein level in MDDCs and monocyte-derived Langerhans cells (MDLCs) as models for different myeloid DC subsets. We found TLR expression to be cell type-specific and MDDCs expressed the full repertoire of TLRs 1-9, including small amounts of TLR8 and TLR9 on the cell surface. The expression of these TLRs that recognise nucleic acids on the surface of cells may constitute an early warning system for signalling the presence of viral invaders that would normally subvert the function of DCs. We also found TLR expression in mature cells to be dependent on the nature of the maturation stimulus (lipopolysaccharide versus cytokine/prostaglandin cocktail) and VACV infection induced profound down-regulation of all TLRs. These findings will have important implications for the rational design of VACV-vectored vaccines.
Source Type:Master's Thesis
Keywords:vaccinia virus dendritic cells c type lectin receptors endocytosis toll like
Date of Publication:01/01/2007