Feline infectious peritonitis (FIP) is a feline coronavirus (FCoV)-induced fatal disease of domestic and wild cats. The infiltration of neutrophils into granulomatous lesions is unusual for a viral disease, but it is a typical finding of FIP. This study aimed to investigate the reason for the lesions containing neutrophils in cats with FIP. Neutrophils of cats with FIP were cultured, and changes in the cell survival rate were assessed. In addition, the presence or absence of neutrophil survival factors was investigated in specimens collected from cats with FIP. Furthermore, it was investigated whether macrophages, one of the target cells of FIPV infection, produce neutrophil survival factors (TNF-alpha, GM-CSF, and G-CSF). We showed that virus-infected macrophages overproduce neutrophil survival factors, and these factors act on neutrophils and up-regulate their survival. These observations suggest that sustained production of neutrophil survival factors by macrophages during FCoV infection is sufficient for neutrophil survival and contributes to development of granulomatous lesions.
Archives of Virology – Springer Journals
Published: May 1, 2009
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