Invasive Species Compendium

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Abstract

Pulmonary intravascular macrophages regulate the pathogenetic mechanisms of pulmonary lesions during acute courses of classical swine fever.

Abstract

Classical swine fever (CSF) is a highly contagious and often fatal viral disease of domestic pigs and wild boar. Pulmonary oedema and haemorrhages in lung parenchyma are common lesions in the acute forms of CSF that may compromise pig survival and whose pathogenetic mechanisms remain unclear. The appearance of pulmonary lesions in pigs infected with Alfort/187 strain of classical swine fever virus (CSFV) euthanized between 2 and 17 days postinfection (dpi) and the role played by cytokines secreted by different pulmonary macrophage populations in the evolution of lesions was evaluated in this study. Microscopic changes of alveolar septal thickening along with oedema and haemorrhages became more severe at middle-late stages of the experiment. A significant increase in the number of pulmonary macrophages, mainly pulmonary intravascular macrophages (PIMs), was observed coinciding with the onset of alveolar septal thickening from Day 4 pi. PIMs were the main target of CSFV from initial stages of infection while the presence of infected pulmonary alveolar macrophages (PAMs) was scarce and late. Initial infection of PIMs induced phagocytic and biosynthetic activation with subsequent release of chemotactic cytokines. TNFα and, to a lesser extent, IL-1α secreted by PIMs were the major cytokines involved, while IL-6 played only a minor role. On the contrary, results suggested only a secondary role of PAMs as source of cytokines. The presence of vascular changes from Day 9 pi coincided with the highest levels of infected PIMs and the highest number of pro-inflammatory cytokines secreting PIMs. Activation and phagocytosis of platelets were observed in the lungs of infected pigs from early stages, also coinciding with the expression of cytokines with a proven procoagulant activity. The existence of intravascular coagulation phenomena in lung was ruled out.