The neuropathogenic T953 strain of equine herpesvirus-1 inhibits type-I IFN mediated antiviral activity in equine endothelial cells

Sanjay Sarkar, Udeni B.R. Balasuriya, David W. Horohov, Thomas M. Chambers

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


Equine herpesvirus-1 (EHV-1) infects equine endothelial cells (EECs) lining the small blood vessels in the central nervous system. However, the effect of type I IFN on EHV-1 replication in the EECs is not well studied. Thus, the primary objective of this study was to investigate the effect of type-I IFN on the replication of the neuropathogenic T953 strain of EHV-1 in vitro in EECs. The initial data showed that the EHV-1 was partly resistant to the biological effect of exogenously supplied recombinant equine IFN-α. Subsequent investigation into the mechanism of resistance showed that EHV-1 infection of EECs interfered with the STAT-1 phosphorylation through which type-I IFN exerts its antiviral effect. Immunofluorescence staining showed interference with the translocation of STAT-1 molecules from cytoplasm to nucleus confirming the virus mediated suppression of STAT-1 activation. Downstream of the JAK-STAT signaling, EHV-1 infection inhibited expression of cellular antiviral proteins including IFN-stimulated gene 56 (ISG56) and viperin. Taken together these findings suggest that the neuropathogenic T953 strain of EHV-1 evades the host innate immune response by inhibiting IFN and this may provide some insight into the pathogenesis of EHV-1 infection.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)110-118
Number of pages9
JournalVeterinary Microbiology
StatePublished - Feb 1 2016

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
We wish to acknowledge the generous technical assistance of Ms. Stephanie Reedy. We thank Dr. Adolfo Garcia-Sastre (Mount Sinai School of Medicine, New York) and Dr. Dennis O’Callaghan (Louisiana State University) for provision of reagents. This work was supported by grants from the American Quarter Horse Foundation. Sanjay Sarkar was supported by a fellowship from the Geoffrey C. Hughes Foundation. The work is part of a project of the Kentucky Agricultural Experiment Station (KY014041 and KY014042) and is published with the approval of the Director (publication No. 15-14-094).

Publisher Copyright:
© 2015 Elsevier B.V.

Copyright 2017 Elsevier B.V., All rights reserved.


  • Equine herpesvirus-1
  • Interferon-α
  • STAT-1

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Microbiology
  • Veterinary (all)


Dive into the research topics of 'The neuropathogenic T953 strain of equine herpesvirus-1 inhibits type-I IFN mediated antiviral activity in equine endothelial cells'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this