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Herpes simplex virus 1 proteins can induce skin inflammation in an atopic dermatitis-like mouse model.

Experimental dermatology

Authors: Natalija Novak, Heike Weighardt, Rafael Valdelvira, Elena Izquierdo, Irmgard Förster, Beatriz Cabanillas

Herpes simplex virus type 1 (HSV-1) can induce in certain individuals with atopic dermatitis (AD) severe cutaneous infections that can spread throughout the entire body, a condition named as AD complicated by eczema herpeticum (ADEH). It has been recently found that ADEH patients can produce specific IgE against HSV-1 proteins, which may contribute to lower protection against HSV-1. However, little is known about the capacity of these HSV-1 proteins to produce an inflammatory response at the skin level. In this study, using a mouse model of AD-like dermatitis, three HSV-1 proteins (glycoprotein D -gD-, glycoprotein B -gB- and VP22) were applied on tape-stripped back skin mice in three exposures periods. Ovalbumin (OVA) and 0.9% NaCl were used as positive and negative controls, respectively. Skin samples were obtained for analysis of specific cell components of skin infiltration. The results showed that the viral protein gD induced a statistically significant increase in the number of dermal infiltrating CD3+, CD4+ cells and mast cells compared with the negative control group. gD was also able to induce epidermal thickening and epidermal infiltration of T cells closely related to the one produced in mice sensitized with OVA. However, VP22 and gB contributed to a lesser extent to skin inflammation. These results showed that proteins from HSV-1, especially gD, can have per se an important T cell and mast cell-driven inflammatory potential at the skin level.

© 2021 John Wiley & Sons A/S. Published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

PMID: 33751678

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