Interleukin-1β expression by a recombinant porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome virus

Steven R. Lawson, Yanhua Li, John B. Patton, Robert J. Langenhorst, Zhi Sun, Zhiyong Jiang, Jane Christopher-Hennings, Eric A. Nelson, David Knudsen, Ying Fang, Kyeong Ok Chang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The cytokine interleukin-1 beta (IL-1β) is a potent inflammatory mediator in response to infection, and can be used as an immunological adjuvant. In this study, we constructed a recombinant porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome virus (vP129/swIL1β) expressing swine IL-1β from the separate subgenomic mRNA inserted between the ORF1b and ORF2 genome region. MARC-145 cells infected with vP129/swIL1β secreted 1947pg of IL-1β per 2×10 5cells at 36h post-infection. In vitro growth kinetics analysis in MARC-145 cells showed that the vP129/swIL1β virus had a similar replication rate as that of parental virus. We further performed in vivo characterization of the vP129/swIL1β virus in a nursery pig disease model. The vP129/swIL1β infected pigs did not show visible clinical signs, while respiratory distress and lethargy were evident in pigs infected with the parental virus. The expression of various cytokines from peripheral blood mononuclear cells measured by fluorescent microsphere immunoassay showed that IL-1β, IL-4 and IFN-γ expression levels were up-regulated in pigs infected with vP129/swIL1β at 7 and 14 days post-infection. However, no detectable level of IL-1β was found in serum samples from pigs infected with either vP129/swIL1β or parental virus. In summary, this study demonstrated a recombinant PRRSV as a useful tool to study the role of different cytokines in disease progression and immune responses, which represents a new strategy for future therapeutic application and vaccine development.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)461-468
Number of pages8
JournalVirus Research
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 2012
Externally publishedYes


  • Cytokine
  • Interleukin-1 beta
  • Reverse genetics

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Virology
  • Infectious Diseases
  • Cancer Research


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