Variants of the prototype Alphavirus
, Sindbis (SINV), were used in per os
infections of adult female mosquitoes to investigate arbovirus interaction with the salivary gland (SG). Infection of Aedine mosquitoes with AR339, a heparan sulfate proteoglycan (HSPG)-dependent variant, resulted in gross pathology in the SG lateral lobes while infection with TR339, a HSPG-independent variant, resulted in minimal SG pathology. HSPG was detected in the internal ducts of the SG lateral lobes by immunolabeling but not in the median lobe, or beyond the triad structure and external ducts. Reports that human lactoferrin interacts with HSPG, suggested an interference with virus attachment to receptors on vertebrate cells. Pre-incubation of Aedes albopictus
cultured C7-10 cells with bovine lactoferrin (bLF) followed by adsorption of SINV resulted in earlier and greater intensity of cytopathic response to TR339 compared with AR339. Following pre-treatment of C7-10 cells with bLF, plaques from tissue culture-adapted high-titer SINVTaV-GFP-TC were observed at 48 h post-infection (p.i.), while plaques from low-titer SINVTaV-GFP-TC were not observed until 120 h p.i. Confocal optics detected this reporter virus at 30 days p.i. in the SG proximal lateral lobe, a region of HSPG-immunolocalization. Altogether these data suggest an association between SINV and HSPG in the host mosquito.
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