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Jens Christian Jensenius

Mannan-binding protein and bovine conglutinin mediate enhancement of herpes simplex virus type 2 infection in mice

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  • Department of Medical Microbiology and Immunology
A broad range of plant lectins have recently been shown to inhibit the infectivity of herpes simplex virus type 1 (HSV-1) in vitro. We decided to investigate the role of mammalian lectins in infection with herpes simplex virus. Two lectins, conglutinin and mannan-binding protein (also called mannose-binding protein, MBP), belonging to the collectin family of lectins, were examined. Four week-old BALB/c mice were injected subcutaneously with 100 micrograms bovine conglutinin or 50 micrograms human MBP 1 day before intravenous infection with 5 x 10(4) PFU of herpes simplex virus type 2 (HSV-2). A three-fold increase in virus titre of the liver was observed on day 3 of the infection in the mice pretreated with conglutinin or MBP, whereas no effect was seen on days 1 and 5. In a standard plaque assay using Vero cells we were not able to demonstrate reproducibly either infection inhibition or infection enhancement, when virus was pre-incubated with differing concentrations of the collectins. The concentrations used were similar to those used by us in vivo, and by others in in vitro experiments showing inhibition of the infectivity of HSV-1 with plant lectins. In an ELISA with HSV-2 antigens captured on anti-HSV-2 antibodies, calcium-dependent and carbohydrate inhibitable binding of the collectins was observed. Our results indicate that the effect of endogenous mammalian collectins in vivo may not be neutralization as suggested by the data using plant lectins. Instead, the previously described opsonizing activity of the mammalian collectins may provide the virions with an alternative port of entry into cells leading to infection enhancement.
Original languageEnglish
JournalScandinavian Journal of Immunology
Pages (from-to)439-45
Number of pages7
Publication statusPublished - 1 May 1994

    Research areas

  • Animals, Carrier Proteins, Cattle, Cercopithecus aethiops, Collectins, Complement C1q, Disease Models, Animal, Herpes Simplex, Herpesvirus 2, Human, Mice, Mice, Inbred BALB C, Serum Globulins, Vero Cells

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