Viperin is highly induced in neutrophils and macrophages during acute and chronic lymphocytic choriomeningitis virus infection

J Immunol. 2010 May 15;184(10):5723-31. doi: 10.4049/jimmunol.0903752. Epub 2010 Apr 21.


Although most cells are thought to respond to IFNs, there is limited information regarding specific cells that respond in vivo. Viperin is an IFN-induced antiviral protein and, therefore, is an excellent marker for IFN-responsive cells. In this study, we analyzed viperin expression in vivo during acute lymphocytic choriomeningitis virus Armstrong infection, which induces high levels of type I IFNs, and in persistently infected lymphocytic choriomeningitis virus carrier mice, which contain low levels of type I IFNs. Viperin was induced in lymphoid cells and dendritic cells (DCs) during acute infection and highly induced in neutrophils and macrophages. The expression kinetics in neutrophils, macrophages, and T and B cells paralleled IFN-alpha levels, but DCs expressed viperin with delayed kinetics. In carrier mice, viperin was expressed in neutrophils and macrophages but not in T and B cells or DCs. For acutely infected and carrier mice, viperin expression was IFN dependent, because treating type I IFNR knockout mice with IFN-gamma-neutralizing Abs inhibited viperin expression. Viperin localized to the endoplasmic reticulum and lipid droplet-like vesicles in neutrophils. These findings delineate the kinetics and cells responding to IFNs in vivo and suggest that the profile of IFN-responsive cells changes in chronic infections. Furthermore, these data suggest that viperin may contribute to the antimicrobial activity of neutrophils.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Acute Disease
  • Animals
  • Chronic Disease
  • Interferon Type I / administration & dosage
  • Interferon Type I / biosynthesis
  • Interferon Type I / physiology
  • Lymphocytic Choriomeningitis / immunology*
  • Lymphocytic Choriomeningitis / metabolism*
  • Lymphocytic Choriomeningitis / virology
  • Lymphocytic choriomeningitis virus / immunology
  • Lymphoid Tissue / immunology
  • Lymphoid Tissue / metabolism
  • Lymphoid Tissue / virology
  • Macrophages / immunology*
  • Macrophages / metabolism*
  • Macrophages / virology
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred C57BL
  • Neutrophils / immunology*
  • Neutrophils / metabolism*
  • Neutrophils / virology
  • Phagocytosis / immunology
  • Proteins / metabolism*
  • Proteins / physiology
  • Receptor, Interferon alpha-beta / genetics


  • Interferon Type I
  • Proteins
  • vig1 protein, mouse
  • Receptor, Interferon alpha-beta