Due to the scarcity of immunocompetent animal models for chronic viral hepatitis, little is known about the role of the innate intrahepatic immune system during viral replication in the liver. These insights are however fundamental for the understanding of the inappropriate adaptive immune responses during the chronic phase of the infection. We apply the Lymphocytic Choriomenigitis Virus (LCMV) clone 13 mouse model to examine chronic virus-host interactions of Kupffer cells (KC) and infiltrating monocytes (IM) in an infected liver. LCMV infection induced overt clinical hepatitis, with rise in ALT and serum cytokines, and increased intrahepatic F4/80 expression. Despite ongoing viral replication, whole liver transcriptome showed baseline expression levels of inflammatory cytokines, interferons, and interferon induced genes during the chronic infection phase. Transcriptome analyses of sorted KC and IMs using NanoString technology revealed two unique phenotypes with only minimal overlap. At the chronic viral infection phase, KC showed no increased transcription of activation markers Cd80 and Cd86, but an increased expression of genes related to antigen presentation, whereas monocytes were more activated and expressed higher levels of TNF transcripts. Although both KCs and intrahepatic IM share the surface markers F4/80 and CD11b, their transcriptomes point towards distinctive roles during virusinduced chronic hepatitis.

doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0166094, hdl.handle.net/1765/94212
Department of Gastroenterology & Hepatology

van de Garde, M., Movita, D., Van Der Heide, M. (Marieke), Herschke, F., De Jonghe, S. (Sandra), Gama, L., … Vanwolleghem, T. (2016). Liver monocytes and kupffer cells remain transcriptionally distinct during chronic viral infection. PLoS ONE, 11(11). doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0166094