Effect of herpesvirus infection on pancreatic duct cell secretion

World J Gastroenterol. 2005 Oct 14;11(38):5997-6002. doi: 10.3748/wjg.v11.i38.5997.


Aim: To examine the effect of acute infection caused by herpesvirus (pseudorabies virus, PRV) on pancreatic ductal secretion.

Methods: The virulent Ba-DupGreen (BDG) and non-virulent Ka-RREp0lacgfp (KEG) genetically modified strains of PRV were used in this study and both of them contain the gene for green fluorescent protein (GFP). Small intra/interlobular ducts were infected with BDG virus (10(7) PFU/mL for 6 h) or with KEG virus (10(10) PFU/mL for 6 h), while non-infected ducts were incubated only with the culture media. The ducts were then cultured for a further 18 h. The rate of HCO(3)(-) secretion (base efflux -J(B-)) was determined from the buffering capacity of the cells and the initial rate of intracellular acidification (1) after sudden blockage of basolateral base loaders with dihydro-4,4-diisothiocyanatostilbene-2,2-disulfonic acid (500 micromol/L) and amiloride (200 micromol/L), and (2) after alkali loading the ducts by exposure to NH(4)Cl. All the experiments were performed in HCO(3)(-)-buffered Ringer solution at 37 degrees (n = 5 ducts for each experimental condition). Viral structural proteins were visualized by immunohistochemistry. Virally-encoded GFP and immunofluorescence signals were recorded by a confocal laser scanning microscope.

Results: The BDG virus infected the majority of accessible cells of the duct as judged by the appearance of GFP and viral antigens in the ductal cells. KEG virus caused a similarly high efficiency of infection. After blockage of basolateral base loaders, BDG infection significantly elevated -J(B-) 24 h after the infection, compared to the non-infected group. However, KEG infection did not modify -J(B-). After alkali loading the ducts, -J(B-) was significantly elevated in the BDG group compared to the control group 24 h after the infection. As we found with the inhibitor stop method, no change was observed in the group KEG compared to the non-infected group.

Conclusion: Incubation with the BDG or KEG strains of PRV results in an effective infection of ductal epithelial cells. The BDG strain of PRV, which is able to initiate a lytic viral cycle, stimulates HCO(3)(-) secretion in guinea pig pancreatic duct by about four- to fivefold, 24 h after the infection. However, the KEG strain of PRV, which can infect, but fails to replicate, has no effect on HCO(3)(-) secretion. We suggest that this response of pancreatic ducts to virulent PRV infection may represent a defense mechanism against invasive pathogens to avoid pancreatic injury.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Bicarbonates / metabolism
  • Green Fluorescent Proteins / genetics
  • Guinea Pigs
  • Herpesvirus 1, Suid / genetics
  • Herpesvirus 1, Suid / pathogenicity
  • In Vitro Techniques
  • Pancreatic Ducts / metabolism*
  • Pancreatic Ducts / pathology
  • Pseudorabies / pathology
  • Pseudorabies / physiopathology*


  • Bicarbonates
  • Green Fluorescent Proteins