Porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome virus (PRRSV) infects mainly the porcine alveolar macrophages (PAMs) and causes porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome (PRRS). Previous studies have analyzed the global gene expression profiles of lung tissue in vivo and PAMs in vitro following infection with PRRSV, however, transcriptome-wide understanding of the interaction between highly pathogenic PRRSV (HP-PRRSV) and PAMs in vivo has not yet been established. In this study, we employed Affymetrix microarrays to investigate the gene expression patterns of PAMs isolated from Tongcheng piglets (a Chinese indigenous breed) after infection with HP-PRRSV. During the infection, Tongcheng piglets exhibited typical clinical signs, e.g. fever, asthma, coughing, anorexia, lethargy and convulsion, but displayed mild regional lung damage at 5 and 7 dpi. Microarray analysis revealed that HP-PRRSV infection has affected PAMs in expression of the important genes involved in cytoskeleton and exocytosis organization, protein degradation and folding, intracellular calcium and zinc homeostasis. Several potential antiviral strategies might be employed in PAMs, including upregulating IFN-induced genes and increasing intracellular zinc ion concentration. And inhibition of the complement system likely attenuated the lung damage during HP-PRRSV infection. Transcriptomic analysis of PAMs in vivo could lead to a better understanding of the HP-PRRSV-host interaction, and to the identification of novel antiviral therapies and genetic components of swine tolerance/susceptibility to HP-PRRS.
2011. Vol. 7, no 7, 947-959 p.