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Enhancement of the immunogenicity of influenza A virus by the inhibition of immunosuppressive function of NS1 protein


The truncation of the nonstructural NS1 protein is a novel approach for the generation of immunogenic attenuated influenza viruses. However, the innate immune mechanisms that cause the increased immunogenicity of influenza viruses with altered NS1 proteins are poorly understood. The goal of this study was to compare the immune responses in mice immunized with two variants of the influenza A/Puerto Rico/8/1934 (A/PR8) virus: the wild type virus (А/PR8/full NS) and the variant with the NS1 protein shortened to 124 amino acid residues (А/PR8/NS124). The investigated parameters of immunity included cytokine production, the dynamic variation of the innate immune cell populations, and the rate of the influenza-specific T-cell responses. An intraperitoneal route of immunization was chosen due to the variability in the replication capacity of the investigated viruses in the respiratory tract. The levels of interferon β (IFNβ), tumor necrosis factor α (TNFα), monocyte chemo-attractant protein 1 (MCP1), interleukin 6 (IL6), and IL27 in peritoneal washings of mice immunized with А/PR8/NS124 were significantly higher compared to the mice immunized with the wild-type virus. The А/PR8/NS124 treated group showed a delayed attraction of monocytes and neutrophils as well as a more pronounced reduction in the percentage of dendritic cells in the peritoneal cavity. The expression level of the CD86 activation marker on the cells expressing the molecules of the major histocompatibility complex II (MHCII+) was significantly higher in mice immunized with А/PR8/NS124 than in the group immunized with А/PR8/full NS. Finally, immunization with А/PR8/ NS124 led to an increased formation of influenza-specific CD8+ effector T-cells characterized by the simultaneous production of IFNγ, IL2, and TNFα. We hypothesize that elevated cytokine production, enhanced dendritic cell migration, and increased CD86 expression on antigen-presenting cells upon immunization with А/PR8/NS124 lead to a more effective presentation of viral antigens and, therefore, promote an increased antigen-specific CD8+ immune response.

About the Authors

K. A. Vasilyev
Smorodintsev Research Institute of Influenza
Russian Federation

Kirill Vasilyev

St. Petersburg

M. A. Yukhneva
Smorodintsev Research Institute of Influenza
Russian Federation
St. Petersburg

A.-P. S. Shurygina
Smorodintsev Research Institute of Influenza
Russian Federation
St. Petersburg

M. A. Stukova
Smorodintsev Research Institute of Influenza
Russian Federation
St. Petersburg

A. Y. Egorov
Smorodintsev Research Institute of Influenza; University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences
Russian Federation

St. Petersburg

Vienna, Austria


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For citations:

Vasilyev K.A., Yukhneva M.A., Shurygina A.S., Stukova M.A., Egorov A.Y. Enhancement of the immunogenicity of influenza A virus by the inhibition of immunosuppressive function of NS1 protein. Microbiology Independent Research Journal (MIR Journal). 2018;5(1):36-47. (In Russ.)

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