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The chicken TH1 response: Potential therapeutic applications of ChIFN-γ

Guo, Pengju, Thomas, Jesse D., Bruce, Matthew P., Hinton, Tracey M., Bean, Andrew G.D., Lowenthal, John W.
Developmental and comparative immunology 2013 v.41 no.3 pp. 389-396
Chicken anemia virus, T-lymphocytes, atrophy, chickens, genome, immune response, interferon-gamma, interleukin-12, pathogens, poultry diseases, thymocytes, thymus gland, vaccination, vaccines, virulence, viruses
The outcomes of viral infections are costly in terms of human and animal health and welfare worldwide. The observed increase in the virulence of some viruses and failure of many vaccines to stop these infections has lead to the apparent need to develop new anti-viral strategies. One approach to dealing with viral infection may be to employ the therapeutic administration of recombinant cytokines to act as ‘immune boosters’ to assist in augmenting the host response to virus. With this in mind, a greater understanding of the immune response, particularly cell mediated T-helper-1 (TH1) type responses, is imperative to the development of new anti-viral and vaccination strategies. Following the release of the chicken genome, a number of TH1-type cytokines have been identified, including chicken interleukin-12 (ChIL-12), ChIL-18 and interferon-γ ChIFN-γ), highlighting the nature of the TH1-type response in this non-mammalian vertebrate. To date a detailed analysis of the in vivo biological function of these cytokines has been somewhat hampered by access to large scale production techniques. This review describes the role of TH-1 cytokines in immune responses to viruses and explores their potential use in enhancing anti-viral treatment strategies in chickens. Furthermore, this review focuses on the example of ChIFN-γ treatment of Chicken Anemia Virus (CAV) infection. CAV causes amongst other things thymocyte depletion and thymus atrophy, as well as immunosuppression in chickens. However, due to vaccination, clinical disease appears less often, nevertheless, the subclinical form of the disease is often associated with secondary complicating infections due to an immunocompromised state. Since CAV-induced immunosuppression can cause a marked decrease in the immune response against other pathogens, understanding this aspect of the disease is critically important, as well as providing insights into developing new control approaches. With increasing emphasis on developing alternative control programs for poultry diseases, novel therapeutic strategies provide one approach. We show here that the in ovo administration of ChIFN-γ impacts the depletion of T-cell precursors during CAV infection. Therefore, it appears that ChIFN-γ may have the potential to be used as a novel therapeutic reagent to impact virus infection and alter immunosuppression caused by CAV and potentially other pathogens.