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MicroRNA-155 enhances T cell trafficking and antiviral effector function in a model of coronavirus-induced neurologic disease.

MicroRNA-155 enhances T cell trafficking and antiviral effector function in a model of coronavirus-induced neurologic disease.
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Dickey LL, Worne CL, Glover JL, Lane TE, O'Connell RM,


Dickey LL, Worne CL, Glover JL, Lane TE, O'Connell RM, (click to view)

Dickey LL, Worne CL, Glover JL, Lane TE, O'Connell RM,

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Journal of neuroinflammation 2016 09 0713(1) 240 doi 10.1186/s12974-016-0699-z

Abstract
BACKGROUND
MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are noncoding RNAs that modulate cellular gene expression, primarily at the post-transcriptional level. We sought to examine the functional role of miR-155 in a model of viral-induced neuroinflammation.

METHODS
Acute encephalomyelitis and immune-mediated demyelination were induced by intracranial injection with the neurotropic JHM strain of mouse hepatitis virus (JHMV) into C57BL/6 miR-155 (+/+) wildtype (WT) mice or miR-155 (-/-) mice. Morbidity and mortality, viral load and immune cell accumulation in the CNS, and spinal cord demyelination were assessed at defined points post-infection. T cells harvested from infected mice were used to examine cytolytic activity, cytokine activity, and expression of certain chemokine receptors. To determine the impact of miR-155 on trafficking, T cells from infected WT or miR-155 (-/-) mice were adoptively transferred into RAG1 (-/-) mice, and T cell accumulation into the CNS was assessed using flow cytometry. Statistical significance was determined using the Mantel-Cox log-rank test or Student’s T tests.

RESULTS
Compared to WT mice, JHMV-infected miR-155 (-/-) mice developed exacerbated disease concomitant with increased morbidity/mortality and an inability to control viral replication within the CNS. In corroboration with increased susceptibility to disease, miR-155 (-/-) mice had diminished CD8(+) T cell responses in terms of numbers, cytolytic activity, IFN-γ secretion, and homing to the CNS that corresponded with reduced expression of the chemokine receptor CXCR3. Both IFN-γ secretion and trafficking were impaired in miR-155 (-/-) , virus-specific CD4(+) T cells; however, expression of the chemokine homing receptors analyzed on CD4(+) cells was not affected. Except for very early during infection, there were not significant differences in macrophage infiltration into the CNS between WT and miR-155 (-/-) JHMV-infected mice, and the severity of demyelination was similar at 14 days p.i. between WT and miR-155 (-/-) JHMV-infected mice.

CONCLUSIONS
These findings support a novel role for miR-155 in host defense in a model of viral-induced encephalomyelitis. Specifically, miR-155 enhances antiviral T cell responses including cytokine secretion, cytolytic activity, and homing to the CNS in response to viral infection. Further, miR-155 can play either a host-protective or host-damaging role during neuroinflammation depending on the disease trigger.

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