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Hypothalamus-pituitary-adrenal axis involves in anti-viral ability through regulation of immune response in piglets infected by highly pathogenic porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome virus

Tong, Jie, Yu, Ying, Zheng, Linlin, Zhang, Chong, Tu, Yabin, Liu, Yonggang, Wu, Jianan, Li, Hai, Wang, Shujie, Jiang, Chenggang, Zhou, En-Min, Wang, Gang, Cai, Xuehui
BMC veterinary research 2018 v.14 no.1 pp. 92
Porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome virus, blood, body weight, burden of disease, cytokines, dexamethasone, disease severity, etiology, immune response, immune system, industry, lungs, mortality, piglets, veterinary medicine, China
BACKGROUND: The highly pathogenic porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome virus (HP-PRRSV) has been responsible for several viral attacks in the Asian porcine industry, since the first outbreak in China in 2006. During the early stages of the HP-PRRSV infection, high levels of proinflammatory cytokines are noted in the host peripheral blood, which are accompanied by severe lesions in the lungs and immune system organs; these are considered as the greatest contributors to the overall disease burden. We hypothesized that the anti-PRRSV response in piglets might be mediated by the hypothalamus-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis, which led to a decrease in the psycho-neuroendocrinological manifestation of HP-PRRSV etiology via immune response regulation. RESULTS: We investigated the regulation of the HPA axis in HP-PRRSV-infected piglets that were treated with 1 mg/kg body weight (b. w.)/day mifepristone (RU486) or 2 mg/kg b.w./day dexamethasone (DEX). Both RU486 and DEX enhanced the disease status of the piglets infected by the HP-PRRSV HuN4 strain, resulting in high mortality and more severe pathological changes in the lungs. CONCLUSIONS: HP-PRRSV infection activates the HPA axis, and artificial regulation of the immune-endocrine system enhances disease severity in HP-PRRSV-infected piglets. Thus, DEX and RU486 should be avoided in the clinical treatment of HP-PRRS.