Equine herpesvirus type 1 infection induces procoagulant activity in equine monocytes

Research output: Journal Publications and Reviews (RGC: 21, 22, 62)21_Publication in refereed journalpeer-review

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Original languageEnglish
Article number16
Journal / PublicationVeterinary Research
Online published11 Mar 2013
Publication statusPublished - 2013
Externally publishedYes



The alphaherpesvirus, equine herpesvirus type 1 (EHV-1), is a highly prevalent cause of equine infectious abortion and encephalomyelopathy. These syndromes have been attributed to ischemic necrosis from thrombosis in placental and neural vessels, although the mechanisms underlying thrombosis are unknown. After inhalation, EHV-1 establishes a peripheral blood mononuclear cell-associated viremia, with monocytes being a target of infection. Monocytes are also the main source of tissue factor (TF) in diseased states. Since TF is the primary activator of coagulation, increased monocyte TF expression could be involved in EHV-1-associated thrombosis. We hypothesized that EHV-1 infection would induce TF-dependent procoagulant activity in equine monocytes. Monocyte-enriched fractions of blood were infected with abortigenic (RacL11, NY03) and neuropathogenic (Ab4) EHV-1 strains. All strains induced procoagulant activity, to variable degrees, within 1 to 4 h, with maximal activity at 24 h, after infection. Virus-induced procoagulant activity was similar to that seen with lipopolysaccharide, a known stimulant of TF-mediated procoagulant responses. Virus-induced procoagulant activity was factor VIIa-dependent and temporally associated with TF gene transcription, implicating TF as the main driver of the activity. Procoagulant activity was mildly decreased (30-40%) when virus was inactivated by ultraviolet light or when infected cells were treated with aphidicolin, a virus DNA polymerase inhibitor, suggesting early events of virus infection (attachment, entry or intracellular trafficking) are the primary stimulus of procoagulant activity. Our results indicate that EHV-1 rapidly stimulates procoagulant activity in equine monocytes in vitro. The EHV-1-induced procoagulant activity in monocytes may contribute to clinical thrombosis in horses with EHV-1 infection. © 2013 Yeo et al.; licensee BioMed Central Ltd.

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