Tuesday June 29, 2010, from 12.00 to 13.00
Nicolas Mwamba Twité
"Human cytomegalovirus immunosubversion strategies in infected kidney and mammary epithelial cells"
Human cytomegalovirus (HCMV) has developed multiple immune evasion strategies to escape from host immune responses in order to ensure its transmission mainly through urine and breast milk. However, virological mechanisms and immune subversion strategies developed by HCMV in kidney and mammary epithelial cells are poorly understood. Hence, we aimed to characterize HCMV infection of these clinically relevant epithelial cells and to investigate their expressions of some immunomodulatory molecules upon HCMV infection. We observed that these epithelial cells expressed HCMV antigens and supported productive HCMV replication. Furthermore, our results were consistent with the sequestration of HCMV by these epithelial cells. In addition, we found that E-/N-cadherins expression increased significantly during the course of infection. Moreover, E/-N-cadherins inhibited effector functions of KLRG1+ effectors cells (i.e. NK cells and CD4+ T lymphocytes). From these findings, it is concluded that (i) if such viral sequestration and (ii) if such HCMV-mediated up-regulation of E-/N-cadherins expression also occurs in vivo it may participate in virus excretion in urine and breast milk.