Experimental coronavirus retinopathy (ECOR): retinal degeneration susceptible mice have an augmented interferon and chemokine (CXCL9, CXCL10) response early after virus infection

J Neuroimmunol. 2008 Jan;193(1-2):28-37. doi: 10.1016/j.jneuroim.2007.09.032. Epub 2007 Nov 26.


Mouse hepatitis virus induces a biphasic disease in BALB/c mice that consists of an acute retinitis followed by progression to a chronic retinal degeneration with autoimmune reactivity. Retinal degeneration resistant CD-1 mice do not develop the late phase. What host factors contribute to the distinct responses to the virus are unknown. Herein, we show that IFN-alpha, IFN-beta and IFN-gamma act in concert as part of the innate immune response to the retinal infection. At day 2, high serum levels of IFN-gamma, CXCL9 and CXCL10, were detected in BALB/c mice. Moreover, elevated levels of CXCL9 and CXCL10 gene expression were detected in retinal tissue. Although IFN-gamma and the chemokines were detected in CD-1 mice, they were at significantly lower levels compared to BALB/c mice. These augmented innate responses observed correlated with the development of autoimmune reactivity and retinal degeneration and thus may contribute to the pathogenic processes.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Chemokine CXCL10 / biosynthesis*
  • Chemokine CXCL10 / blood
  • Chemokine CXCL10 / genetics
  • Chemokine CXCL9 / biosynthesis*
  • Chemokine CXCL9 / blood
  • Chemokine CXCL9 / genetics
  • Coronavirus Infections / complications
  • Coronavirus Infections / immunology*
  • Immunity, Innate
  • Interferons / biosynthesis*
  • Interferons / blood
  • Interferons / genetics
  • Male
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred BALB C
  • Murine hepatitis virus*
  • Retinal Degeneration / etiology*
  • Retinal Degeneration / immunology
  • Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome / immunology


  • Chemokine CXCL10
  • Chemokine CXCL9
  • Cxcl10 protein, mouse
  • Cxcl9 protein, mouse
  • Interferons