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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.

Virology ; 569: 13-28, 2022 04.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1740261


Emerging mutations in the SARS-CoV-2 genome pose a challenge for vaccine development and antiviral therapy. The antiviral efficacy of Azadirachta indica bark extract (NBE) was assessed against SARS-CoV-2 and m-CoV-RSA59 infection. Effects of in vivo intranasal or oral NBE administration on viral load, inflammatory response, and histopathological changes were assessed in m-CoV-RSA59-infection. NBE administered inhibits SARS-CoV-2 and m-CoV-RSA59 infection and replication in vitro, reducing Envelope and Nucleocapsid gene expression. NBE ameliorates neuroinflammation and hepatitis in vivo by restricting viral replication and spread. Isolated fractions of NBE enriched in Nimbin isomers shows potent inhibition of m-CoV-RSA59 infection in vitro. In silico studies revealed that NBE could target Spike and RdRp of m-CoV and SARS-CoV-2 with high affinity. NBE has a triterpenoids origin that may allow them to competitively target panoply of viral proteins to inhibit mouse and different strains of human coronavirus infections, suggesting its potential as an antiviral against pan-ß-Coronaviruses.

Azadirachta , COVID-19 , Animals , Antiviral Agents/pharmacology , COVID-19/drug therapy , Limonins , Mice , Plant Bark , Plant Extracts/pharmacology , SARS-CoV-2 , Virus Replication
Front Cell Neurosci ; 14: 116, 2020.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-831021


Mouse hepatitis virus (MHV)-induced murine neuroinflammation serves as a model to study acute meningoencephalomyelitis, hepatitis, and chronic neuroinflammatory demyelination; which mimics certain pathologies of the human neurologic disease, multiple sclerosis (MS). MHV-induced acute neuroinflammation occurs due to direct glial cell dystrophy instigated by central nervous system (CNS)-resident microglia and astrocytes, in contrast to peripheral CD4+T cell-mediated myelin damage prevalent in the experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis (EAE) model of MS. Viral envelope Spike glycoprotein-mediated cell-to-cell fusion is an essential mechanistic step for MHV-induced CNS pathogenicity. Although Azadirachta indica (Neem), a traditional phytomedicine, is known for its anti-inflammatory, anti-fungal, and spermicidal activities, not much is known about anti-neuroinflammatory properties of its bark (NBE) in MHV-induced acute neuroinflammation and chronic demyelination. Recombinant demyelinating MHV strain (RSA59) was preincubated with NBE to arrest the infection-initiation event, and its effect on viral replication, viral transcription, cytokine expression, and successive pathogenicity were investigated in vitro and in vivo. Virus-free Luciferase assay explained NBE's anti-virus-to-cell fusion activity in vitro. Intracranial inoculation of RSA59 preincubated with NBE into the mouse brain significantly reduces acute hepatitis, meningoencephalomyelitis, and chronic progressive demyelination. Additionally, NBE effectively restricts viral entry, dissemination in CNS, viral replication, viral transcription, and expression of the viral nucleocapsid and inflammatory cytokines. From mechanistic standpoints, RSA59 preincubated with NBE reduced viral entry, viral replication and cell-to-cell fusion, as a mode of viral dissemination. Moreover, intraperitoneal injection with NBE (25 mg/kg B.W.) into mice revealed a significant reduction in viral Nucleocapsid protein expression in vivo. Conclusively, A. indica bark extract may directly bind to the virus-host attachment Spike glycoprotein and suppresses MHV-induced neuroinflammation and neuropathogenesis by inhibiting cell-to-cell fusion and viral replication. Further studies will focus on combining bioanalytical assays to isolate potential NBE bioactive compound(s) that contribute towards the anti-viral activity of NBE.