T cells can mediate viral clearance from ependyma but not from brain parenchyma in a major histocompatibility class I- and perforin-independent manner.
ABSTRACT: Viral infection of the central nervous system can lead to disability and death. Yet the majority of viral infections with central nervous system involvement resolve with only mild clinical manifestations, if any. This is generally attributed to efficient elimination of the infection from the brain coverings, i.e. the meninges, ependyma and chorioplexus, which are the primary targets of haematogeneous viral spread. How the immune system is able to purge these structures from viral infection with only minimal detrimental effects is still poorly understood. In the present work we studied how an attenuated lymphocytic choriomeningitis virus can be cleared from the central nervous system in the absence of overt disease. We show that elimination of the virus from brain ependyma, but not from brain parenchyma, could be achieved by a T cell-dependent mechanism operating independently of major histocompatibility class I antigens and perforin. Considering that cytotoxic T lymphocyte-mediated cytotoxicity is a leading cause of viral immunopathology and tissue damage, our findings may explain why the most common viral intruders of the central nervous system rarely represent a serious threat to our health.
Project description:Viral capsid components that bind cellular receptors mediate critical functions in viral tropism and disease pathogenesis. Mammalian orthoreoviruses (reoviruses) spread systemically in newborn mice to cause serotype-specific disease in the central nervous system (CNS). Serotype 1 (T1) reovirus infects ependymal cells to cause nonlethal hydrocephalus, whereas serotype 3 (T3) reovirus infects neurons to cause fulminant and lethal encephalitis. This serotype-dependent difference in tropism and concomitant disease is attributed to the ?1 viral attachment protein, which is composed of head, body, and tail domains. To identify ?1 sequences that contribute to tropism for specific cell types in the CNS, we engineered a panel of viruses expressing chimeric ?1 proteins in which discrete ?1 domains have been reciprocally exchanged. Parental and chimeric ?1 viruses were compared for replication, tropism, and disease induction following intracranial inoculation of newborn mice. Viruses expressing T1 ?1 head sequences infect the ependyma, produce relatively lower titers in the brain, and do not cause significant disease. In contrast, viruses expressing T3 ?1 head sequences efficiently infect neurons, replicate to relatively higher titers in the brain, and cause a lethal encephalitis. Additionally, T3 ?1 head-expressing viruses display enhanced infectivity of cultured primary cortical neurons compared with T1 ?1 head-expressing viruses. These results indicate that T3 ?1 head domain sequences promote infection of neurons, likely by interaction with a neuron-specific receptor, and dictate tropism in the CNS and induction of encephalitis.IMPORTANCE Viral encephalitis is a serious and often life-threatening inflammation of the brain. Mammalian orthoreoviruses are promising oncolytic therapeutics for humans but establish virulent, serotype-dependent disease in the central nervous system (CNS) of many young mammals. Serotype 1 reoviruses infect ependymal cells and produce hydrocephalus, whereas serotype 3 reoviruses infect neurons and cause encephalitis. Reovirus neurotropism is hypothesized to be dictated by the filamentous ?1 viral attachment protein. However, it is not apparent how this protein mediates disease. We discovered that sequences forming the most virion-distal domain of T1 and T3 ?1 coordinate infection of either ependyma or neurons, respectively, leading to mutually exclusive patterns of tropism and disease in the CNS. These studies contribute new knowledge about how reoviruses target cells for infection in the brain and inform the rational design of improved oncolytic therapies to mitigate difficult-to-treat tumors of the CNS.
Project description:The subventricular zone (SVZ) of the adult mouse brain is a narrow stem cell niche that lies along the length of the lateral wall of the lateral ventricles. The SVZ supports neurogenesis throughout adulthood; however, with increasing age, the ventral SVZ deteriorates and only the dorsolateral SVZ remains neurogenic. Associated with the elderly dorsolateral SVZ, we reported previously an increased number of astrocytes interposed within the adjacent ependymal lining. Here, we show that astrocytes integrated within the ependyma are dividing, BrdU-labeled astrocytes that share cellular adherens with neighboring ependymal cells. By tracking BrdU-labeled astrocytes over time, we observed that, as they incorporated within the ependyma, they took on antigenic and morphologic characteristics of ependymal cells, suggesting a novel form of SVZ-supported "regenerative" repair in the aging brain. A similar form of SVZ-mediated ependyma repair was also observed in young mice after mild ependymal cell denudation with low dosages of neuraminidase. Together, this work identifies a novel non-neuronal mechanism of regenerative repair by the adult SVZ.
Project description:Pathogenic autoantibodies associated with neuromyelitis optica (NMO) induce disease by targeting aquaporin-4 (AQP4) water channels enriched on astrocytic endfeet at blood-brain interfaces. AQP4 is also expressed at cerebrospinal fluid (CSF)-brain interfaces, such as the pial glia limitans and the ependyma and at the choroid plexus blood-CSF barrier. However, little is known regarding pathology at these sites in NMO. Therefore, we evaluated AQP4 expression, microglial reactivity, and complement deposition at pial and ependymal surfaces and in the fourth ventricle choroid plexus in 23 autopsy cases with clinically and/or pathologically confirmed NMO or NMO spectrum disorder. These findings were compared to five cases with multiple sclerosis, five cases of choroid plexus papilloma, and five control cases without central nervous system disease. In the NMO cases, AQP4 immunoreactivity was reduced relative to control levels in the pia (91%; 21/23), ependyma (56%; 9/16), and choroid plexus epithelium (100%; 12/12). AQP4 immunoreactivity was normal in MS cases in these regions. Compared to MS, NMO cases also showed a focal pattern of pial and ependymal complement deposition and more pronounced microglial reactivity. In addition, AQP4 loss, microglial reactivity, and complement deposition colocalized along the pia and ependyma only in NMO cases. Within the choroid plexus, AQP4 loss was coincident with C9neo immunoreactivity on epithelial cell membranes only in NMO cases. These observations demonstrate that NMO immunopathology extends beyond perivascular astrocytic foot processes to include the pia, ependyma, and choroid plexus, suggesting that NMO IgG-induced pathological alterations at CSF-brain and blood-CSF interfaces may contribute to the occurrence of ventriculitis, leptomeningitis, and hydrocephalus observed among NMO patients. Moreover, disruption of the blood-CSF barrier induced by binding of NMO IgG to AQP4 on the basolateral surface of choroid plexus epithelial cells may provide a unique portal for entry of the pathogenic antibody into the central nervous system.
Project description:Hydrocephalic hyh mutant mice undergo a programmed loss of the neuroepithelium/ependyma followed by a reaction of periventricular astrocytes, which form a new cell layer covering the denuded ventricular surface. We present a comparative morphological and functional study of the newly formed layer of astrocytes and the multiciliated ependyma of hyh mice. Transmission electron microscopy, immunocytochemistry for junction proteins (N-cadherin, connexin 43) and proteins involved in permeability (aquaporin 4) and endocytosis (caveolin-1, EEA1) were used. Horseradish peroxidase (HRP) and lanthanum nitrate were used to trace the intracellular and paracellular transport routes. The astrocyte layer shares several cytological features with the normal multiciliated ependyma, such as numerous microvilli projected into the ventricle, extensive cell-cell interdigitations and connexin 43-based gap junctions, suggesting that these astrocytes are coupled to play an unknown function as a cell layer. The ependyma and the astrocyte layers also share transport properties: (1) high expression of aquaporin 4, caveolin-1 and the endosome marker EEA1; (2) internalization into endocytic vesicles and early endosomes of HRP injected into the ventricle; (3) and a similar paracellular route of molecules moving between CSF, the subependymal neuropile and the pericapillary space, as shown by lanthanum nitrate and HRP. A parallel analysis performed in human hydrocephalic foetuses indicated that a similar phenomenon would occur in humans. We suggest that in foetal-onset hydrocephalus, the astrocyte assembly at the denuded ventricular walls functions as a CSF-brain barrier involved in water and solute transport, thus contributing to re-establish lost functions at the brain parenchyma-CSF interphase.
Project description:Adult neural stem cells (NSCs) reside in specialized niches, which hold a balanced number of NSCs, their progeny, and other cells. How niche capacity is regulated to contain a specific number of NSCs remains unclear. Here, we show that ependyma-derived matricellular protein CCN1 (cellular communication network factor 1) negatively regulates niche capacity and NSC number in the adult ventricular-subventricular zone (V-SVZ). Adult ependyma-specific deletion of Ccn1 transiently enhanced NSC proliferation and reduced neuronal differentiation in mice, increasing the numbers of NSCs and NSC units. Although proliferation of NSCs and neurogenesis seen in Ccn1 knock-out mice eventually returned to normal, the expanded NSC pool was maintained in the V-SVZ until old age. Inhibition of EGFR signaling prevented expansion of the NSC population observed in Ccn1 KO mice. Thus, ependyma-derived CCN1 restricts NSC expansion in the adult brain to maintain the proper niche capacity of the V-SVZ.
Project description:Microglia serve as brain-resident myeloid cells that affect cerebral development, ischemia, neurodegeneration, and neuro-viral infection. MicroRNAs play a key role in central nervous system disease through post-transcriptional regulation. Indeed, evidence shows that microRNAs are one of the most important regulators mediating microglial activation, polarization, and autophagy, and subsequently affecting neuroinflammation and the outcome of central nervous system disease. In this review, we provide insight into the function of microRNAs, which may be an attractive strategy and influential treatment for microglia-related central nervous system dysfunction. Moreover, we comprehensively describe how microglia fight against central nervous system disease via multiple functional microRNAs.
Project description:Extrahepatic manifestations linked to hepatitis B Virus (HBV) are usually indirect consequences of immune-mediated mechanisms triggered by the virus replication. Strong evidence of brain HBV replication is missing and direct involvement of HBV in nervous system symptoms has been rarely reported. We report two cases of neurological manifestations contemporary to HBV infection. In both cases, HBV-DNA and HBsAg could be quantified in the cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) at relatively high levels. Differential quantification of HBsAg and HBV viral load both in CSF and in blood as well as phylogenic studies on HBV genomic sequences obtained from blood and CSF provided strong arguments for central nervous system viral replication in both cases. Direct causality of HBV replication in the central nervous system in these clinical situations is certainly not demonstrated but these findings could expand the list of hepatitis viruses possibly involved in neurological disorders. Further studies should be promoted to better document possible HBV replication in the brain tissues and its consequences.
Project description:Central nervous system (CNS) barriers play a pivotal role in the protection and homeostasis of the CNS by enabling the exchange of metabolites while restricting the entry of xenobiotics, blood cells and blood-borne macromolecules. While the blood-brain barrier and blood-cerebrospinal fluid barrier (CSF) control the interface between the blood and CNS, the ependyma acts as a barrier between the CSF and parenchyma, and regulates hydrocephalic pressure and metabolic toxicity. Neurocysticercosis (NCC) is an infection of the CNS caused by the metacestode (larva) of Taenia solium and a major cause of acquired epilepsy worldwide. The common clinical manifestations of NCC are seizures, hydrocephalus and symptoms due to increased intracranial pressure. The majority of the associated pathogenesis is attributed to the immune response against the parasite. The properties of the CNS barriers, including the ependyma, are affected during infection, resulting in disrupted homeostasis and infiltration of leukocytes, which correlates with the pathology and disease symptoms of NCC patients.In order to characterize the role of the ependymal barrier in the immunopathogenesis of NCC, we isolated ependymal cells using laser capture microdissection from mice infected or mock-infected with the closely related parasite Mesocestoides corti, and analyzed the genes that were differentially expressed using microarray analysis. The expression of 382 genes was altered. Immune response-related genes were verified by real-time RT-PCR. Ingenuity Pathway Analysis (IPA) software was used to analyze the biological significance of the differentially expressed genes, and revealed that genes known to participate in innate immune responses, antigen presentation and leukocyte infiltration were affected along with the genes involved in carbohydrate, lipid and small molecule biochemistry. Further, MHC class II molecules and chemokines, including CCL12, were found to be upregulated at the protein level using immunofluorescence microscopy. This is important, because these molecules are members of the most significant pathways by IPA analyses.Thus, our study indicates that ependymal cells actively express immune mediators and likely contribute to the observed immunopathogenesis during infection. Of particular interest is the major upregulation of antigen presentation pathway-related genes and chemokines/cytokines. This could explain how the ependyma is a prominent source of leukocyte infiltration into ventricles through the disrupted ependymal lining by way of pial vessels present in the internal leptomeninges in murine NCC.
Project description:HSV type 1 (HSV-1) is one of the leading etiologies of sporadic viral encephalitis. Early antiviral intervention is crucial to the survival of herpes simplex encephalitis patients; however, many survivors suffer from long-term neurologic deficits. It is currently understood that HSV-1 establishes a latent infection within sensory peripheral neurons throughout the life of the host. However, the tissue residence of latent virus, other than in sensory neurons, and the potential pathogenic consequences of latency remain enigmatic. In the current study, we characterized the lytic and latent infection of HSV-1 in the CNS in comparison with the peripheral nervous system following ocular infection in mice. We used RT-PCR to detect latency-associated transcripts and HSV-1 lytic cycle genes within the brain stem, the ependyma (EP), containing the limbic and cortical areas, which also harbor neural progenitor cells, in comparison with the trigeminal ganglia. Unexpectedly, HSV-1 lytic genes, usually identified during acute infection, are uniquely expressed in the EP 60 d postinfection when animals are no longer suffering from encephalitis. An inflammatory response was also mounted in the EP by the maintenance of resident memory T cells. However, EP T cells were incapable of controlling HSV-1 infection ex vivo and secreted less IFN-γ, which correlated with expression of a variety of exhaustion-related inhibitory markers. Collectively, our data suggest that the persistent viral lytic gene expression during latency is the cause of the chronic inflammatory response leading to the exhaustion of the resident T cells in the EP.
Project description:Although H5N1 influenza A viruses can cause systemic infection, their neurotropism and long-term effects on the central nervous system (CNS) are not fully understood. We assessed H5N1viral invasion of the CNS and its long-term effects in a ferret model. An H5N1 virus caused nonsuppurative encephalitis, which lasted for 3 months without neurologic signs. Further, another H5N1 virus caused nonsuppurative vasculitis with brain hemorrhage. Three-dimensional analysis of viral distribution in the brain identified the olfactory system as a major route for brain invasion. The efficient growth of virus in the upper respiratory tract may thus facilitate viral brain invasion.