Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) infects B cells and ~95% of adults are infected. EBV glycoprotein gp42 is essential for entry of virus into B cells. EBV gp42 binds to the β1 chain of HLA-DQ, -DR, and -DP on B cells, and uses these molecules for infection. To investigate if certain HLA-DQ alleles are associated with EBV seronegativity, we recruited ~3,300 healthy adult blood donors, identified 106 EBV-seronegative individuals, and randomly selected a control group of EBV-seropositive donors from the donor pool. A larger than expected proportion of EBV-seronegative subjects were HLA-DQ β1 *04/*05 and *06/*06, and to a lesser extent, *02/*03, compared with the control group, while a larger than expected portion of EBV-seropositive persons were HLA-DQ β1 *02/*02. We examined the ability of EBV gp42 to bind to different HLA-DQ molecules using human and mouse cells stably expressing these alleles. EBV gp42 bound less effectively to cells expressing HLA-DQ β1 *04/*05, *06/*06, or *03/*03 than to cells expressing HLA-DQ β1 *02/*02. These data are consistent with our observations of increased EBV seronegativity with DQ β1 *04/*05 or *06/*06 alleles. These findings emphasize the importance of a single genetic locus (HLA-DQ β1) to influence infectivity with EBV.
Qingxue Li, Wei Bu, Erin Gabriel, Fiona Aguilar, Yo Hoshino, Hiroko Miyadera, Christoph Hess, Ronald L. Hornung, Amitava Roy, Jeffrey I. Cohen
Elucidating the molecular basis of tumor metastasis is pivotal for eradicating cancer-related mortality. Triple-negative breast cancer (TNBC) encompasses a class of aggressive tumors characterized by high rates of recurrence and metastasis, as well as poor overall survival. Here, we find that the promyelocytic leukemia protein PML exerts a prometastatic function in TNBC that can be targeted by arsenic trioxide. We found that, in TNBC patients, constitutive HIF1A activity induces high expression of PML, along with a number of HIF1A target genes that promote metastasis at multiple levels. Intriguingly, PML controls the expression of these genes by binding to their regulatory regions along with HIF1A. This mechanism is specific to TNBC cells and does not occur in other subtypes of breast cancer where PML and prometastatic HIF1A target genes are underexpressed. As a consequence, PML promotes cell migration, invasion, and metastasis in TNBC cell and mouse models. Notably, pharmacological inhibition of PML with arsenic trioxide, a PML-degrading agent used to treat promyelocytic leukemia patients, delays tumor growth, impairs TNBC metastasis, and cooperates with chemotherapy by preventing metastatic dissemination. In conclusion, we report identification of a prometastatic pathway in TNBC and suggest clinical development toward the use of arsenic trioxide for TNBC patients.
Manfredi Ponente, Letizia Campanini, Roberto Cuttano, Andrea Piunti, Giacomo A. Delledonne, Nadia Coltella, Roberta Valsecchi, Alessandra Villa, Ugo Cavallaro, Linda Pattini, Claudio Doglioni, Rosa Bernardi
In breast cancer, a key feature of peritumoral adipocytes is their loss of lipid content observed both in vitro and in human tumors. The free fatty acids (FFAs), released by adipocytes after lipolysis induced by tumor secretions, are transferred and stored in tumor cells as triglycerides in lipid droplets. In tumor cell lines, we demonstrate that FFAs can be released over time from lipid droplets through an adipose triglyceride lipase–dependent (ATGL-dependent) lipolytic pathway. In vivo, ATGL is expressed in human tumors where its expression correlates with tumor aggressiveness and is upregulated by contact with adipocytes. The released FFAs are then used for fatty acid β-oxidation (FAO), an active process in cancer but not normal breast epithelial cells, and regulated by coculture with adipocytes. However, in cocultivated cells, FAO is uncoupled from ATP production, leading to AMPK/acetyl-CoA carboxylase activation, a circle that maintains this state of metabolic remodeling. The increased invasive capacities of tumor cells induced by coculture are completely abrogated by inhibition of the coupled ATGL-dependent lipolysis/FAO pathways. These results show a complex metabolic symbiosis between tumor-surrounding adipocytes and cancer cells that stimulate their invasiveness, highlighting ATGL as a potential therapeutic target to impede breast cancer progression.
Yuan Yuan Wang, Camille Attané, Delphine Milhas, Béatrice Dirat, Stéphanie Dauvillier, Adrien Guerard, Julia Gilhodes, Ikrame Lazar, Nathalie Alet, Victor Laurent, Sophie Le Gonidec, Denis Biard, Caroline Hervé, Frédéric Bost, Guo Sheng Ren, Françoise Bono, Ghislaine Escourrou, Marc Prentki, Laurence Nieto, Philippe Valet, Catherine Muller
HIV-1 viremic controllers (VC) spontaneously control infection without antiretroviral treatment. Several studies indicate that IgG Abs from VCs induce enhanced responses from immune effector cells. Since signaling through Fc-γ receptors (FCGRs) modulate these Ab-driven responses, here we examine if enhanced FCGR activation is a common feature of IgG from VCs. Using an infected cell–based system, we observed that VC IgG stimulated greater FCGR2A and FCGR3A activation as compared with noncontrollers, independent of the magnitude of HIV-specific Ab binding or virus neutralization activities. Multivariate regression analysis showed that enhanced FCGR signaling was a significant predictor of VC status as compared with chronically infected patients (CIP) on highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART). Unsupervised hierarchical clustering of patient IgG functions primarily grouped VC IgG profiles by enhanced FCGR2A, FCGR3A, or dual signaling activity. Our findings demonstrate that enhanced FCGR signaling is a common and significant predictive feature of VC IgG, with VCs displaying a distinct spectrum of FCGR activation profiles. Thus, profiling FCGR activation may provide a useful method for screening and distinguishing protective anti-HIV IgG responses in HIV-infected patients and in monitoring HIV vaccination regimens.
Raymond A. Alvarez, Ana M. Maestre, Kenneth Law, Natasha D. Durham, Maria Ines Barria, Akiko Ishii-Watabe, Minoru Tada, Manav Kapoor, Mathew T. Hotta, Gabriela Rodriguez-Caprio, Daniel S. Fierer, Ana Fernandez-Sesma, Viviana Simon, Benjamin K. Chen
Liver X receptors (LXRs) are transcription factors essential for cholesterol homeostasis and lipogenesis. LXRα has been implicated in regulating hepatic triglyceride (TG) accumulation upon both influx of adipose-derived fatty acids (FAs) during fasting and stimulation of de novo FA synthesis by chemical agonism of LXR. However, whether or not a convergent mechanism is employed to drive deposition of FAs from these 2 different sources in TGs is undetermined. Here, we report that the G0/G1 Switch Gene 2 (G0S2), a selective inhibitor of intracellular TG hydrolysis/lipolysis, is a direct target gene of LXRα. Transcriptional activation is conferred by LXRα binding to a direct repeat 4 (DR4) motif in the G0S2 promoter. While LXRα–/– mice exhibited decreased hepatic G0S2 expression, adenoviral expression of G0S2 was sufficient to restore fasting-induced TG storage and glycogen depletion in the liver of these mice. In response to LXR agonist T0901317, G0S2 ablation prevented hepatic steatosis and hypertriglyceridemia without affecting the beneficial effects on HDL. Thus, the LXRα-G0S2 axis plays a distinct role in regulating hepatic TG during both fasting and pharmacological activation of LXR.
Bradlee L. Heckmann, Xiaodong Zhang, Alicia M. Saarinen, Gabriele Schoiswohl, Erin E. Kershaw, Rudolf Zechner, Jun Liu
Visceral fat is considered the genuine and harmful white adipose tissue (WAT) that is associated to development of metabolic disorders, cardiovascular disease, and cancer. Here, we present a new concept to turn the harmful visceral fat into a beneficial energy consumption depot, which is beneficial for improvement of metabolic dysfunctions in obese mice. We show that low temperature–dependent browning of visceral fat caused decreased adipose weight, total body weight, and body mass index, despite increased food intake. In high-fat diet–fed mice, low temperature exposure improved browning of visceral fat, global metabolism via nonshivering thermogenesis, insulin sensitivity, and hepatic steatosis. Genome-wide expression profiling showed upregulation of WAT browning–related genes including
Xiaoyan Yang, Wenhai Sui, Meng Zhang, Mei Dong, Sharon Lim, Takahiro Seki, Ziheng Guo, Carina Fischer, Huixia Lu, Cheng Zhang, Jianmin Yang, Meng Zhang, Yangang Wang, Caixia Cao, Yanyan Gao, Xingguo Zhao, Meili Sun, Yuping Sun, Rujie Zhuang, Nilesh J. Samani, Yun Zhang, Yihai Cao
Mitophagy occurs during ischemia/reperfusion (I/R) and limits oxidative stress and injury. Mitochondrial turnover was assessed in patients undergoing cardiac surgery involving cardiopulmonary bypass (CPB). Paired biopsies of right atrial appendage before initiation and after weaning from CPB were processed for protein analysis, mitochondrial DNA/nuclear DNA ratio (mtDNA:nucDNA ratio), mtDNA damage, mRNA, and polysome profiling. Mitophagy in the post-CPB samples was evidenced by decreased levels of mitophagy adapters NDP52 and optineurin in whole tissue lysate, decreased Opa1 long form, and translocation of Parkin to the mitochondrial fraction. PCR analysis of mtDNA comparing amplification of short vs. long segments of mtDNA revealed increased damage following cardiac surgery. Surprisingly, a marked increase in several mitochondria-specific protein markers and mtDNA:nucDNA ratio was observed, consistent with increased mitochondrial biogenesis. mRNA analysis suggested that mitochondrial biogenesis was traniscription independent and likely driven by increased translation of existing mRNAs. These findings demonstrate in humans that both mitophagy and mitochondrial biogenesis occur during cardiac surgery involving CPB. We suggest that mitophagy is balanced by mitochondrial biogenesis during I/R stress experienced during surgery. Mitigating mtDNA damage and elucidating mechanisms regulating mitochondrial turnover will lead to interventions to improve outcome after I/R in the setting of heart disease.
Allen M. Andres, Kyle C. Tucker, Amandine Thomas, David J.R. Taylor, David Sengstock, Salik M. Jahania, Reza Dabir, Somayeh Pourpirali, Jamelle A. Brown, David G. Westbrook, Scott W. Ballinger, Robert M. Mentzer Jr., Roberta A. Gottlieb
Type 1 diabetes (T1D) is an autoimmune disease that is clinically silent until the majority of β cells are destroyed. There is an unmet need for reliable and cost-effective biomarkers to predict and diagnose diabetes at an early stage. A number of stable microRNAs (miRNAs) have been reported in serum and plasma and are now being investigated as biomarkers of different diseases. We measured the levels of 745 miRNAs in sera of children with recent-onset T1D and age-matched controls using locked nucleic acid–enhanced (LNA-enhanced) quantitative PCR profiling. Thirty-five miRNAs were significantly different between the groups, and 27 miRNAs were elevated in T1D. Good discriminating power was obtained for 6 miRNAs (miR-454-3p, miR-222-3p, miR-144-5p, miR-345-5p, miR-24-3p, and miR-140-5p), which were not elevated at later stages of diabetes. In silico pathway analysis, based on inferred miRNA target genes, associated glycosaminoglycan biosynthesis as well as PI3K/Akt, MAPK, and Wnt signaling pathways with early stages of T1D. Among the 27 upregulated miRNAs in T1D, 2 miRNAs significantly correlated with hemoglobin A1c (HbA1c), as did 5 of 8 downregulated miRNAs. A total of 134 miRNAs significantly correlated with HbA1c when stratifying hyperglycemia-induced miRNAs from T1D-specific miRNAs. In conclusion, we have identified a serum miRNA pattern of recent-onset T1D and signaling pathways that may be involved in its pathogenesis.
Suheda Erener, Ashish Marwaha, Rusung Tan, Constadina Panagiotopoulos, Timothy J. Kieffer
The immunologic potency of IgG is modulated by glycosylation, but mechanisms regulating this process are undefined. A role for sex hormones is suggested by differences in IgG glycans between women and men, most prominently with respect to galactose. We therefore assessed IgG galactosylation in 713 healthy adults from 2 cohorts as well as in 159 subjects from 4 randomized controlled studies of endocrine manipulation: postmenopausal women receiving conjugated estrogens, raloxifene, or placebo; premenopausal women deprived of gonadal hormones with leuprolide and treated with estradiol or placebo; men deprived of gonadal hormones with goserelin and given testosterone or placebo; and men deprived of gonadal hormones with goserelin and given testosterone or placebo together with anastrozole to block conversion of testosterone to estradiol. Menopause was associated with an increase in agalactosylated IgG glycans, particularly in the most abundant fucosylated nonbisected (G0F) glycoform. Conjugated estrogens and raloxifene reduced G0F glycans in postmenopausal women, while in premenopausal women leuprolide increased G0F glycans in a manner reversed by estradiol. Among men, goserelin increased G0F glycans, an effect blocked by testosterone through conversion to estradiol. These results establish estrogens as an in vivo modulator of IgG galactosylation in both women and men, defining a pathway by which sex modulates immunity.
Altan Ercan, Wendy M. Kohrt, Jing Cui, Kevin D. Deane, Marija Pezer, Elaine W. Yu, Jonathan S. Hausmann, Harry Campbell, Ursula B. Kaiser, Pauline M. Rudd, Gordan Lauc, James F. Wilson, Joel S. Finkelstein, Peter A. Nigrovic
Fructose has been implicated in the pathogenesis of obesity and type 2 diabetes. In contrast to glucose, CNS delivery of fructose in rodents promotes feeding behavior. However, because circulating plasma fructose levels are exceedingly low, it remains unclear to what extent fructose crosses the blood-brain barrier to exert CNS effects. To determine whether fructose can be endogenously generated from glucose via the polyol pathway (glucose → sorbitol → fructose) in human brain, 8 healthy subjects (4 women/4 men; age, 28.8 ± 6.2 years; BMI, 23.4 ± 2.6; HbA1C, 4.9% ± 0.2%) underwent 1H magnetic resonance spectroscopy scanning to measure intracerebral glucose and fructose levels during a 4-hour hyperglycemic clamp (plasma glucose, 220 mg/dl). Using mixed-effects regression model analysis, intracerebral glucose rose significantly over time and differed from baseline at 20 to 230 minutes. Intracerebral fructose levels also rose over time, differing from baseline at 30 to 230 minutes. The changes in intracerebral fructose were related to changes in intracerebral glucose but not to plasma fructose levels. Our findings suggest that the polyol pathway contributes to endogenous CNS production of fructose and that the effects of fructose in the CNS may extend beyond its direct dietary consumption.
Janice J. Hwang, Lihong Jiang, Muhammad Hamza, Feng Dai, Renata Belfort-DeAguiar, Gary Cline, Douglas L. Rothman, Graeme Mason, Robert S. Sherwin
Flow cytometry is utilized extensively for cellular analysis, but technical limitations have prevented its routine application for characterizing virus. The recent introduction of nanoscale fluorescence-activated cytometric cell sorting now allows analysis of individual virions. Here, we demonstrate staining and sorting of infectious HIV. Fluorescent antibodies specific for cellular molecules found on budding virions were used to label CCR5-tropic Bal HIV and CXCR4-tropic NL4.3 HIV Env-expressing pseudovirions made in THP-1 cells (monocyte/macrophage) and H9 cells (T cells), respectively. Using a flow cytometer, we resolved the stained virus beyond isotype staining and demonstrated purity and infectivity of sorted virus populations on cells with the appropriate coreceptors. We subsequently sorted infectious simian/human immunodeficiency virus from archived plasma. Recovery was approximately 0.5%, but virus present in plasma was already bound to viral-specific IgG generated in vivo, likely contributing to the low yield. Importantly, using two broadly neutralizing HIV antibodies, PG9 and VRC01, we also sorted virus from archived human plasma and analyzed the sorted populations genetically and by proteomics, identifying the quasispecies present. The ability to sort infectious HIV from clinically relevant samples provides material for detailed molecular, genetic, and proteomic analyses applicable to future design of vaccine antigens and potential development of personalized treatment regimens.
Thomas Musich, Jennifer C. Jones, Brandon F. Keele, Lisa M. Miller Jenkins, Thorsten Demberg, Thomas S. Uldrick, Robert Yarchoan, Marjorie Robert-Guroff
It remains unclear how perturbations in cardiomyocyte sarcomere function alter postnatal heart development. We utilized murine models that allowed manipulation of cardiac myosin-binding protein C (MYBPC3) expression at critical stages of cardiac ontogeny to study the response of the postnatal heart to disrupted sarcomere function. We discovered that the hyperplastic to hypertrophic transition phase of mammalian heart development was altered in mice lacking MYBPC3 and this was the critical period for subsequent development of cardiomyopathy. Specifically, MYBPC3-null hearts developed evidence of increased cardiomyocyte endoreplication, which was accompanied by enhanced expression of cell cycle stimulatory cyclins and increased phosphorylation of retinoblastoma protein. Interestingly, this response was self-limited at later developmental time points by an upregulation of the cyclin-dependent kinase inhibitor p21. These results provide valuable insights into how alterations in sarcomere protein function modify postnatal heart development and highlight the potential for targeting cell cycle regulatory pathways to counteract cardiomyopathic stimuli.
Benjamin R. Nixon, Alexandra F. Williams, Michael S. Glennon, Alejandro E. de Feria, Sara C. Sebag, H. Scott Baldwin, Jason R. Becker
T cells play a significant role in the pathogenesis of systemic autoimmune diseases, including systemic lupus erythematosus; however, there is relatively little information on the nature and specificity of autoreactive T cells. Identifying such cells has been technically difficult because they are likely to be rare and low affinity. Here, we report a method for identifying autoreactive T cell clones that recognize proteins contained in autoantibody immune complexes, providing direct evidence that functional autoreactive helper T cells exist in the periphery of normal mice. These T cells significantly enhanced autoreactive B cell proliferation and altered B cell differentiation in vivo. Most importantly, these autoreactive T cells were able to rescue many aspects of the TLR-deficient AM14 (anti-IgG2a rheumatoid factor) B cell response, suggesting that TLR requirements can be bypassed. This result has implications for the efficacy of TLR-targeted therapy in the treatment of ongoing disease.
Josephine R. Giles, Adriana Turqueti Neves, Ann Marshak-Rothstein, Mark J. Shlomchik
SIV DNA can be detected in lymphoid tissue–resident macrophages of chronically SIV-infected Asian macaques. These macrophages also contain evidence of recently phagocytosed SIV-infected CD4+ T cells. Here, we examine whether these macrophages contain replication-competent virus, whether viral DNA can be detected in tissue-resident macrophages from antiretroviral (ARV) therapy–treated animals and humans, and how the viral sequences amplified from macrophages and contemporaneous CD4+ T cells compare. In ARV-naive animals, we find that lymphoid tissue–resident macrophages contain replication-competent virus if they also contain viral DNA in ARV-naive Asian macaques. The genetic sequence of the virus within these macrophages is similar to those within CD4+ T cells from the same anatomic sites. In ARV-treated animals, we find that viral DNA can be amplified from lymphoid tissue–resident macrophages of SIV-infected Asian macaques that were treated with ARVs for at least 5 months, but we could not detect replication-competent virus from macrophages of animals treated with ARVs. Finally, we could not detect viral DNA in alveolar macrophages from HIV-infected individuals who received ARVs for 3 years and had undetectable viral loads. These data demonstrate that macrophages can contain replication-competent virus, but may not represent a significant reservoir for HIV in vivo.
Sarah R. DiNapoli, Alexandra M. Ortiz, Fan Wu, Kenta Matsuda, Homer L. Twigg III, Vanessa M. Hirsch, Kenneth Knox, Jason M. Brenchley
The conditioning regimen used as part of the Berlin patient’s hematopoietic cell transplant likely contributed to his eradication of HIV infection. We studied the impact of conditioning in simian-human immunodeficiency virus–infected (SHIV-infected) macaques suppressed by combination antiretroviral therapy (cART). The conditioning regimen resulted in a dramatic, but incomplete depletion of CD4+ and CD8+ T cells and CD20+ B cells, increased T cell activation and exhaustion, and a significant loss of SHIV-specific Abs. The disrupted T cell homeostasis and markers of microbial translocation positively correlated with an increased viral rebound after cART interruption. Quantitative viral outgrowth and Tat/rev–induced limiting dilution assays showed that the size of the latent SHIV reservoir did not correlate with viral rebound. These findings identify perturbations of the immune system as a mechanism for the failure of autologous transplantation to eradicate HIV. Thus, transplantation strategies may be improved by incorporating immune modulators to prevent disrupted homeostasis, and gene therapy to protect transplanted cells.
Christopher W. Peterson, Clarisse Benne, Patricia Polacino, Jasbir Kaur, Cristina E. McAllister, Abdelali Filali-Mouhim, Willi Obenza, Tiffany A. Pecor, Meei-Li Huang, Audrey Baldessari, Robert D. Murnane, Ann E. Woolfrey, Keith R. Jerome, Shiu-Lok Hu, Nichole R. Klatt, Stephen DeRosa, Rafick P. Sékaly, Hans-Peter Kiem
Idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF) is a severe fibrotic lung disease associated with fibroblast activation that includes excessive proliferation, tissue invasiveness, myofibroblast transformation, and extracellular matrix (ECM) production. To identify inhibitors that can attenuate fibroblast activation, we queried IPF gene signatures against a library of small-molecule-induced gene-expression profiles and identified Hsp90 inhibitors as potential therapeutic agents that can suppress fibroblast activation in IPF. Although Hsp90 is a molecular chaperone that regulates multiple processes involved in fibroblast activation, it has not been previously proposed as a molecular target in IPF. Here, we found elevated Hsp90 staining in lung biopsies of patients with IPF. Notably, fibroblasts isolated from fibrotic lesions showed heightened Hsp90 ATPase activity compared with normal fibroblasts. 17-
Vishwaraj Sontake, Yunguan Wang, Rajesh K. Kasam, Debora Sinner, Geereddy B. Reddy, Anjaparavanda P. Naren, Francis X. McCormack, Eric S. White, Anil G. Jegga, Satish K. Madala
Decreased noradrenergic excitation of hypoglossal motoneurons during sleep causing hypotonia of pharyngeal dilator muscles is a major contributor to the pathogenesis of obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), a widespread disease for which treatment options are limited. Previous OSA drug candidates targeting various excitatory/inhibitory receptors on hypoglossal motoneurons have proved unviable in reactivating these neurons, particularly during rapid-eye-movement (REM) sleep. To identify a viable drug target, we show that the repurposed α2-adrenergic antagonist yohimbine potently reversed the depressant effect of REM sleep on baseline hypoglossal motoneuron activity (a first-line motor defense against OSA) in rats. Remarkably, yohimbine also restored the obstructive apnea–induced long-term facilitation of hypoglossal motoneuron activity (hLTF), a much-neglected form of noradrenergic-dependent neuroplasticity that could provide a second-line motor defense against OSA but was also depressed during REM sleep. Corroborating immunohistologic, optogenetic, and pharmacologic evidence confirmed that yohimbine’s beneficial effects on baseline hypoglossal motoneuron activity and hLTF were mediated mainly through activation of pontine A7 and A5 noradrenergic neurons. Our results suggest a 2-tier (impaired first- and second-line motor defense) mechanism of noradrenergic-dependent pathogenesis of OSA and a promising pharmacotherapy for rescuing both these intrinsic defenses against OSA through disinhibition of A7 and A5 neurons by α2-adrenergic blockade.
Gang Song, Chi-Sang Poon
Maintenance of vascular integrity in the adult animal is needed for survival, and it is critically dependent on the endothelial lining, which controls barrier function, blood fluidity, and flow dynamics. However, nodal regulators that coordinate endothelial identity and function in the adult animal remain poorly characterized. Here, we show that endothelial KLF2 and KLF4 control a large segment of the endothelial transcriptome, thereby affecting virtually all key endothelial functions. Inducible endothelial-specific deletion of
Panjamaporn Sangwung, Guangjin Zhou, Lalitha Nayak, E. Ricky Chan, Sandeep Kumar, Dong-Won Kang, Rongli Zhang, Xudong Liao, Yuan Lu, Keiki Sugi, Hisashi Fujioka, Hong Shi, Stephanie D. Lapping, Chandra C. Ghosh, Sarah J. Higgins, Samir M. Parikh, Hanjoong Jo, Mukesh K. Jain
Zika virus (ZIKV) is an important pathogen that causes not only neurologic, but also ocular, abnormalities. Thus, it is imperative that models to study ZIKV pathogenesis in the eye are developed to identify potential targets for interventions. Here, we studied ZIKV interactions with human retinal cells and evaluated ZIKV’s pathobiology in mouse eyes. We showed that cells lining the blood-retinal barrier (BRB), the retinal endothelium, and retinal pigment epithelium (RPE) were highly permissive and susceptible to ZIKV-induced cell death. Direct inoculation of ZIKV in eyes of adult C57BL/6 and IFN-stimulated gene 15 (ISG15) KO mice caused chorioretinal atrophy with RPE mottling, a common ocular manifestation of congenital ZIKV infection in humans. This response was associated with induced expression of multiple inflammatory and antiviral (IFNs) response genes in the infected mouse retina. Interestingly, ISG15 KO eyes exhibited severe chorioretinitis, which coincided with increased retinal cell death and higher ZIKV replication. Collectively, our study provides the first evidence to our knowledge that ZIKV causes retinal lesions and infects the cells lining the BRB and that ISG15 plays a role in retinal innate defense against ZIKV infection. Our mouse model can be used to study mechanisms underlying ZIKV-induced chorioretinitis and to gauge ocular antiviral therapies.
Pawan Kumar Singh, John-Michael Guest, Mamta Kanwar, Joseph Boss, Nan Gao, Mark S. Juzych, Gary W. Abrams, Fu-Shin Yu, Ashok Kumar