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Brain Disord ; 4: 100021, 2021 Dec.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1426913


Coronaviruses have emerged as alarming pathogens owing to their inherent ability of genetic variation and cross-species transmission. Coronavirus infection burdens the endoplasmic reticulum (ER.), causes reactive oxygen species production and induces host stress responses, including unfolded protein response (UPR) and antioxidant system. In this study, we have employed a neurotropic murine ß-coronavirus (M-CoV) infection in the Central Nervous System (CNS) of experimental mice model to study the role of host stress responses mediated by interplay of DJ-1 and XBP1. DJ-1 is an antioxidant molecule with established functions in neurodegeneration. However, its regulation in virus-induced cellular stress response is less explored. Our study showed that M-CoV infection activated the glial cells and induced antioxidant and UPR genes during the acute stage when the viral titer peaks. As the virus particles decreased and acute neuroinflammation diminished at day ten p.i., a significant up-regulation in UPR responsive XBP1, antioxidant DJ-1, and downstream signaling molecules, including Nrf2, was recorded in the brain tissues. Additionally, preliminary in silico analysis of the binding between the DJ-1 promoter and a positively charged groove of XBP1 is also investigated, thus hinting at a mechanism behind the upregulation of DJ-1 during MHV-infection. The current study thus attempts to elucidate a novel interplay between the antioxidant system and UPR in the outcome of coronavirus infection.

EuropePMC; 2022.
Preprint in English | EuropePMC | ID: ppcovidwho-338344


Ifit2, an interferon-induced protein with tetratricopeptide repeats 2, plays a critical role in restricting neurotropic murine β-coronavirus RSA59 infection. RSA59 intracranial injection of Ifit2 deficient (-/-) compared to wild type (WT) mice results in impaired acute microglial activation, associated with reduced CX3CR1 expression, which consecutively limits migration of peripheral lymphocytes into the brain, leading to impaired virus control followed by severe morbidity and mortality. While the protective role of Ifit2 is established for acute viral encephalitis, less is known about its influence on demyelination during the chronic phase of RSA59 infection. Our current study demonstrates that Ifit2 deficiency causes extensive RSA59 viral spread throughout both the spinal cord grey and white matter and is associated with impaired CD4 + T cell infiltration. Cervical lymph nodes of RSA59 infected Ifit2 -/- mice showed reduced activation of CD4 + T cells and impaired IFNγ expression during acute encephalomyelitis. Furthermore, blood-brain-barrier integrity was preserved in the absence of Ifit2 as evidenced by integral, tight junction protein ZO-1 expression surrounding the meninges and blood vessels and decreased Texas red dye uptake. In contrast to WT mice exhibiting only sparse myelin loss, the chronic disease phase in Ifit2 -/- mice was associated with severe demyelination and persistent viral load, even at low infection doses. Overall, our study highlights that Ifit2 provides antiviral functions by promoting acute neuroinflammation and thereby aiding virus control and limiting severe demyelination. Author Summary The role of interferons in providing protective immunity against viral spread and pathogenesis is well known. Interferons execute their function by inducing certain genes collectively called as interferon stimulated genes (ISGs) among which Interferon-induced protein with tetratricopeptide repeats 2, Ifit2, is known for restricting neurotropic viral replication and spread in the brain. So far, not much has been investigated about its role in viral spread to the spinal cord and its associated myelin pathology. Towards this our study using neurotropic murine-β-coronavirus and Ifit2 deficient mice demonstrate that Ifit2 deficiency causes extensive viral spread throughout grey and white matter of spinal cord accompanied by impaired microglial activation and CD4 + T cell infiltration. Furthermore, infected Ifit2 deficient mice showed impaired activation of T cells in cervical lymph node and Blood-Brain-Barrier was relatively intact. Ifit2 deficient mice developed viral induced severe chronic neuroinflammatory demyelination accompanied by the presence of ameboid shaped phagocytotic microglia/macrophages.

PLoS Pathog ; 16(11): e1009034, 2020 11.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-950851


The interferon-induced tetratricopeptide repeat protein (Ifit2) protects mice from lethal neurotropic viruses. Neurotropic coronavirus MHV-RSA59 infection of Ifit2-/- mice caused pronounced morbidity and mortality accompanied by rampant virus replication and spread throughout the brain. In spite of the higher virus load, induction of many cytokines and chemokines in the brains of infected Ifit2-/- mice were similar to that in wild-type mice. In contrast, infected Ifit2-/- mice revealed significantly impaired microglial activation as well as reduced recruitment of NK1.1 T cells and CD4 T cells to the brain, possibly contributing to the lack of viral clearance. These two deficiencies were associated with a lower level of microglial expression of CX3CR1, the receptor of the CX3CL1 (Fractalkine) chemokine, which plays a critical role in both microglial activation and leukocyte recruitment. The above results uncovered a new potential role of an interferon-induced protein in immune protection.

Apoptosis Regulatory Proteins/metabolism , Cell Movement/immunology , Coronavirus Infections/virology , Leukocytes/virology , Murine hepatitis virus/pathogenicity , RNA-Binding Proteins/metabolism , Virus Replication/immunology , Animals , Apoptosis Regulatory Proteins/deficiency , Coronavirus Infections/immunology , Cytokines/metabolism , Interferons/metabolism , Leukocytes/cytology , Leukocytes/metabolism , Mice, Inbred C57BL , Microglia/metabolism , Murine hepatitis virus/metabolism