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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.

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