Journal of interferon & cytokine research : the official journal of the International Society for Interferon and Cytokine Research

Antiviral Effect of Interferon Lambda Against Lymphocytic Choriomeningitis Virus.

PMID 25830339


Lambda interferons inhibit replication of many viruses, but their role in the inhibition of lymphocytic choriomeningitis virus (LCMV) infection remains unclear. In this study, we examined the antiviral effects of interferon (IFN)-λ2 and IFN-λ3 against LCMV in A549 cells. We found that IFN-λ2 is a more potent inhibitor of LCMV strain MX compared with IFN-λ3, whereas both cytokines have similar antiviral effects against an immunosuppressive variant of LCMV, clone-13. We also demonstrated that the antiviral activity of IFN-λ2 is more effective if it is delivered early rather than after establishment of a long-term infection, suggesting that virus replication is only partially responsive to the cytokine. In agreement with this observation, we showed that LCMV infection significantly reduces IFNLR1 mRNA expression in infected cells. In addition, LCMV infection, to some extent, compromises the signal transduction pathway of IFN-λ2. This implies that IFN receptors as well as their downstream signaling components could be selectively targeted either directly by LCMV proteins or indirectly by cellular factor(s) that are induced or activated by LCMV infection.