Upregulation of INF-γ, IL-6, and IL-8 expression during replication of turkey coronavirus in nonepithelial cells obtained from Meleagris gallopavo
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Mesenchymal stromal cells (MSCs) are considered multipotent progenitors with the capacity to differentiate into mesoderm-like cells in many species. The immunosuppressive properties of MSCs are important for downregulating inflammatory responses. Turkey coronavirus (TCoV) is the etiological agent of a poult mortality syndrome that affects intestinal epithelial cells. In this study, poult MSCs were isolated, characterized, and infected with TCoV after in vitro culture. The poult-derived MSCs showed fibroblast-like morphology and the ability to undergo differentiation into mesodermal-derived cells and to support virus replication. Infection with TCoV resulted in cytopathic effects and the loss of cell viability. TCoV antigens and new viral progeny were detected at high levels, as were transcripts of the pro-inflammatory factors INFγ, IL-6, and IL-8. These findings suggest that the cytokine storm phenomenon is not restricted to one genus of the family Coronaviridae and that MSCs cannot always balance the process.