Autophagy and apoptosis function as important early cellular defense mechanisms in infections and other diseases. The outcome of an infection is determined by a complex interplay between the pathogenic microorganism and these intracellular pathways. To better understand the cytopathogenicity of Herpes simplex virus types 1 and 2 (HSV-1 and -2), we studied the effect of these viruses on the autophagic and apoptotic processes in the SIRC corneal cell line. Infection with the KOS strain of HSV-1 and a wild-type strain of HSV-2 enhanced autophagosome formation, triggered cytoplasmic acidification, increased LC3B lipidation and elevated the ratio of apoptotic cells. The autophagy inhibitor bafilomycin A1 triggered a significant increase in the apoptotic responses of HSV-1- and HSV-2-infected cells. Thus, both HSV types affect autophagy and apoptosis in a coordinated fashion, and autophagy plays cytoprotective role in HSV-infected cells via antagonizing apoptosis. Together these data implicate autophagy in the pathogenic mechanism of herpetic keratitis.
- Herpes simplex virus
- corneal cells
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
- Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)