Rhesus macaque rhadinovirus (RRV) is a gammaherpesvirus of rhesus macaque (RM) monkeys that is closely related to human herpesvirus 8 (HHV-8)/Kaposi's Sarcoma-associated herpesvirus (KSHV), and it is capable of inducing diseases in simian immunodeficiency virus (SIV)-infected RM that are similar to those seen in humans coinfected with HIV and HHV-8. Both HHV-8 and RRV encode viral CD200 (vCD200) molecules that are homologues of cellular CD200, a membrane glycoprotein that regulates immune responses and helps maintain immune homeostasis via interactions with the CD200 receptor (CD200R). Though the functions of RRV and HHV-8 vCD200 molecules have been examined in vitro, the precise roles that these viral proteins play during in vivo infection remain unknown. Thus, to address the contributions of RRV vCD200 to immune regulation and disease in vivo, we generated a form of RRV that lacked expression of vCD200 for use in infection studies in RM. Our data indicated that RRV vCD200 expression limits immune responses against RRV at early times postinfection and also impacts viral loads, but it does not appear to have significant effects on disease development. Further, examination of the distribution pattern of CD200R in RM indicated that this receptor is expressed on a majority of cells in peripheral blood mononuclear cells, including B and T cells, suggesting potentially wider regulatory capabilities for both vCD200 and CD200 that are not strictly limited to myeloid lineage cells. In addition, we also demonstrate that RRV infection affects CD200R expression levels in vivo, although vCD200 expression does not play a role in this phenomenon.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Insect Science