Intravenous treatment with liposome-encapsulated dichloromethylene bisphosphonate (Cl2MBP) suppresses nitric oxide production and reduces genetic resistance to Marek's disease.
Rooijen, N. van
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In this study the functional effectiveness of in vivo macrophage depletion using liposome-encapsulated dichloromethylene bisphosphonate (Cl(2)MBP) was examined in the chicken. The main target organs for systemic liposome-encapsulated Cl(2)MBP treatment are the spleen and the liver. Intravenous treatment with Cl(2)MBP of B(21)/B(21) chickens, genetically resistant to Marek's disease (MD), before challenge with the very virulent strain RB-1B, increased viral load in the blood and spleen after the first week and up to 6 weeks post-infection. In addition, Cl(2)MBP treatment dramatically increased tumour incidence and tumour load, especially in the spleens and livers of sick animals, but without affecting MD-specific mortality of B(21)/B(21) chickens infected with RB-1B at 12 days of age. Nitric oxide (NO) is an important effector of the macrophage and has antiviral and antitumoural properties. NO has been shown to be one of the mechanisms triggered in resistance to Marek's disease. Intravenous treatment with Cl(2)MBP before infection with RB-1B induced a long-lasting decrease in numbers of macrophages and reduction in splenic inducible NO production associated with an absence of nitrate induction in the serum (up to 6 weeks p.i.). These results do not identify macrophage and NO production as major effector components in genetic resistance to Marek's disease, but underline their roles in limiting viraemia and tumour development in organs such as the spleen and the liver.