Polyoma virus-like particles elicit polarized cytokine responses in APCs from tumor-susceptible and -resistant mice.
PERA/Ei (PE) mice are highly susceptible to tumor induction by polyoma virus, whereas C57BR/cdj (BR) mice are highly resistant. PE mice respond to viral infection with a type 2 (IL-10) and BR mice with a type 1 (IL-12) cytokine response, underlining the importance of a sustained T cell response for effective antitumor immunity. PE and BR mice showed comparable Ab responses to the virus, indicating that a Th1 response is fully compatible with strong humoral immunity.Tumor susceptibility is dominant, and a type 2 response prevails in F1 mice derived from these strains. In this study, we show that the different cytokine responses of virus-infected hosts are recapitulated in vitro by exposure of APCsfrom uninfected PE, BR, and F1 animals to the virus. Importantly, virus-like particles formed from recombinant VP1, the major viral capsid protein, elicited the same host-specific cytokine responses as infectious virus. Assembly of VP1 pentamers into capsid shells is required because unassembled VP1 pentamers were ineffective. Binding of virus-like particles to sialic acid is required because pretreatment of APCs with neuraminidase prevented the response. Expression of TLR2 and TLR4 differed among different subpopulations of APCs and also between resistant and susceptible mice. Evidence is presented indicating that these TLRsplay a role in mediating the host-specific cytokine responses to the virus.