Poly I:CLC induction of the interferon system in mice: an initial study of four detection methods

J Interferon Cytokine Res. 2002 Oct;22(10):1035-40. doi: 10.1089/107999002760624260.


Induction of a large number of the components of the interferon (IFN) system (IFN genes, their mRNAs, IFN proteins, IFN receptors, IFN signaling molecules, the IFN response genes, and their effector proteins) has been studied. Less well studied is the comparative induction of these components in vivo. Induction of IFN by double-stranded RNA (dsRNA) treatment mimics certain aspects of viral infection and induces the components of the IFN system. To determine the comparative sensitivity of detection of induction in mice, we initially studied the limiting concentrations of polyribinosinic-polyribocytidylic acid, polylysine complex (poly I:CLC, a synthetic dsRNA preparation), for induction of four representative components of the IFN system: (1) IFN in serum, (2) the IFN response gene mRNA ISG54 in spleen and liver, (3) the IFN-beta mRNA in spleen, and (4) resistance of mice to Banzi viral infection. The results of this initial study showed that resistance to infection was 7-fold more sensitive for detection of the IFN response than was ISG54 mRNA and 70-fold more sensitive than either IFN-beta mRNA or IFN production in serum. In comparison, mouse cells in vitro treated with poly I:CLC were 3-10-fold less sensitive to its antiviral action than is the mouse. The results demonstrate that in the four tests in mice, the most sensitive indicator of poly I:CLC induction of the IFN system was protection against Banzi viral infection, followed by ISG54 mRNA levels, IFN-beta mRNA, and IFN protein levels. It is hypothesized that the highest sensitivity of mouse protection may be due to priming by the initial poly I:CLC-induced IFN of the subsequent Banzi virus-induced IFN, resulting in rapid and high concentrations of IFN at the local site of viral replication. Future studies are needed to study other molecular components of the IFN system to identify those that cause the unanticipated high sensitivity of mice to protection against Banzi virus.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antiviral Agents / metabolism*
  • Antiviral Agents / pharmacology
  • Cells, Cultured
  • Chlorocebus aethiops
  • Female
  • Flavivirus / pathogenicity
  • Gene Expression Regulation / drug effects*
  • Humans
  • Interferon Inducers / pharmacology*
  • Interferon-beta / metabolism*
  • Interferons / biosynthesis
  • Interferons / blood
  • Interferons / genetics
  • L Cells
  • Liver / immunology
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred ICR
  • Poly I-C / pharmacology*
  • Polylysine / pharmacology
  • RNA, Double-Stranded / pharmacology*
  • RNA, Messenger / genetics
  • RNA, Messenger / metabolism
  • Spleen / immunology
  • Vero Cells


  • Antiviral Agents
  • Interferon Inducers
  • RNA, Double-Stranded
  • RNA, Messenger
  • Polylysine
  • Interferon-beta
  • Interferons
  • Poly I-C