Distribution and characterization of interlukin-10 (IL-10)-secreting cells in lymphoid tissues of pigs naturally infected with porcine circovirus type 2 (PCV2) were evaluated in accordance with PCV2 antigen detection. After screening a total of 56 pigs showing the symptoms of postweaning multisystemic wasting syndrome (PMWS), 15 pigs were PCV2 positive and 5 pigs, which showed stronger positive signals over multiples tissues were further investigated. This study showed that in PCV2-infected lymphoid tissues, particularly mandibular lymph node, spleen and tonsil, IL-10 expression was mainly localized in T-cell rich areas but rarely in B cell rich areas. IL-10 was highly expressed in bystander cells but rarely in PCV2-infected cells. Elevated IL-10 expression was predominantly associated with T cells, but rarely with B cells or with macrophages. The results of this study provide evidence for the role of IL-10 in chronic PCV2 infection and its relation to PCV2 antigen in affected tissues. Constantly elevated levels of IL-10 lead to immunosuppression in persistent and chronic viral infections. The increased IL-10 expression observed in PCV2 infection in this study suggests that IL-10-mediated immunosuppression may play an important role in the pathogenesis and maintenance of naturally occurring PCV2 infection.
- Porcine circovirus type 2
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