2,3,7,8-Tetrachlorodibenzo-p-dioxin increases bovine herpesvirus type-1 (BHV-1) replication in Madin-Darby Bovine Kidney (MDBK) cells in vitro

F. Fiorito, U. Pagnini, L. De Martino, S. Montagnaro, R. Ciarcia, S. Florio, M. Pacilio, A. Fucito, A. Rossi, G. Iovane, A. Giordano

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Dioxin - 2,3,7,8-tetrachlorodibenzo-p-dioxin (TCDD) is a common environmental toxin of current interest. In the last years, higher levels of TCDD than those permitted in UE [European Commission. 2002. European Commission Recommendation 2002/201/CE. Official Gazette, L 67/69] were detected in milk samples from cow, water buffalo, goat, and sheep raised on some areas of Campania Region (South Italy). Dioxin often causes immunosuppression and might render the animal liable to viral infections. In addition, viral infections are able to alter the pattern of dioxin distribution in different organs of the exposed animals. Bovine Herpesvirus type-1 (BHV-1) is a widespread pathogen, which causes infectious rhinotracheitis and infectious pustular vulvovaginitis in cattle. Herein, we have studied the effects of TCDD and BHV-1 infection, in Madin-Darby Bovine Kidney (MDBK) cells, alone as well as in association, so as cellular proliferation, apoptosis, and virus replication. We have observed an increase in cell viability of confluent monolayers at low TCDD concentrations. TCDD treated cells demonstrated increased viability compared to controls as evaluated by MTT test. TCDD exposure increased cell proliferation but induced no changes on apoptosis. Cells exposed to TCDD along with BHV-1 showed a dose-dependent increase in cytopathy, represented by ample syncytia formation with the elimination of the cellular sheets and increased viral titer. These results suggest that TCDD increases viral replication in MDBK cells while BHV-1 further decreases viability of TCDD exposed cells. Since very low concentrations (0.01 pg/ml) are sufficient to augment BHV-1 titer, TCDD may contribute to reactivate BHV-1 from latency, leading to recurrent disease and increase virus transmission.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)221-233
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Cellular Biochemistry
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 1 2008


  • 2,3,7,8-tetrachlorodibenzo-p-dioxin
  • Bovine herpesvirus type-1
  • Cell proliferation
  • Cytopathic effects
  • Virus titer

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Cell Biology


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