A TLR7 agonist activates bovine Th1 response and exerts antiviral activity against bovine leukemia virus

Dev Comp Immunol. 2020 Sep 2;114:103847. doi: 10.1016/j.dci.2020.103847. Online ahead of print.


Bovine leukemia virus (BLV) infection is a bovine chronic infection caused by BLV, a member of the genus Deltaretrovirus. In this study, we examined the immunomodulatory effects of GS-9620, a toll-like receptor (TLR) 7 agonist, in cattle (Bos taurus) and its therapeutic potential for treating BLV infection. GS-9620 induced cytokine production in peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) as well as CD80 expression in CD11c+ cells and increased CD69 and interferon (IFN)-γ expressions in T cells. Removing CD11c+ cells from PBMCs decreased CD69 expression in T cells in the presence of GS-9620. These results suggest that TLR7 agonism promotes T-cell activation via CD11c+ cells. Analyses using PBMCs from BLV-infected cattle revealed that TLR7 expression in CD11c+ cells was upregulated during late-stage BLV infection. Furthermore, GS-9620 increased IFN-γ and TNF-α production and inhibited syncytium formation in vitro, suggesting that GS-9620 may be used to treat BLV infection.

Keywords: Anti-PD-L1 antibody; Bovine leukemia virus; CD11c(+) cell; Cattle; T cell; TLR7 agonist.