Proceedings of the Society for Experimental Biology and Medicine. Society for Experimental Biology and Medicine (New York, N.Y.) vol:207 issue:2 pages:191-6
The role of host defense mechanism against murine cytomegalovirus (MCMV) infection in mice with severe combined immunodeficiency (SCID) was investigated using polyinosinic:polycytidylic acid (poly I:C) as a nonspecific stimulator of the immune system. When administered ip at doses of 3.7 or 15 mg/kg 18 hr prior to infection of SCID mice with 10(3) or 10(4) plaque-forming units of MCMV, poly I:C significantly increased the animals' life span. Poly I:C enhanced, in a dose-dependent manner (0.01-1 mg/kg), the peritoneal natural killer (NK)-cell activity and macrophage activity of SCID mice. When SCID mice were pretreated with anti-asialo GM1 antibody (against NK cells) or anti-Mac1 antibody (against macrophages), poly I:C failed to stimulate the activity of NK cells and macrophages. Intraperitoneal administration of poly I:C also induced both early (2 hr) and late (18 hr) type interferon (IFN) in the peritoneal fluid and blood. The IFN-inducing activity of polyl:C was not affected by pretreatment of the mice with anti-asialo GM1 or anti-Mac1 antibody. Poly I:C also caused a significant but less pronounced increase in the life span of MCMV-infected SCID mice in which the NK cells or macrophages had been depleted by treatment with anti-asialo GM1 or anti-Mac1 antibody, respectively. These results suggest that poly I:C-induced interferon as well as activation of NK cell and macrophages contribute to the host defense mechanism against MCMV infection in SCID mice.