Metabolic reprogramming by Zika virus provokes inflammation in human placenta.
ABSTRACT: The recent outbreak of Zika virus (ZIKV) was associated with birth defects and pregnancy loss when maternal infection occurs in early pregnancy, but specific mechanisms driving placental insufficiency and subsequent ZIKV-mediated pathogenesis remain unclear. Here we show, using large scale metabolomics, that ZIKV infection reprograms placental lipidome by impairing the lipogenesis pathways. ZIKV-induced metabolic alterations provide building blocks for lipid droplet biogenesis and intracellular membrane rearrangements to support viral replication. Furthermore, lipidome reprogramming by ZIKV is paralleled by the mitochondrial dysfunction and inflammatory immune imbalance, which contribute to placental damage. In addition, we demonstrate the efficacy of a commercially available inhibitor in limiting ZIKV infection, provides a proof-of-concept for blocking congenital infection by targeting metabolic pathways. Collectively, our study provides mechanistic insights on how ZIKV targets essential hubs of the lipid metabolism that may lead to placental dysfunction and loss of barrier function.
Project description:Objectives:Effects of Zika virus (ZIKV) infection on placental development during pregnancy are unclear. Methods:Full-term placentas from three women, each infected with ZIKV during specific pregnancy trimesters, were harvested for anatomic, immunologic and transcriptomic analysis. Results:In this study, each woman exhibited a unique immune response with raised IL-1RA, IP-10, EGF and RANTES expression and neutrophil numbers during the acute infection phase. Although ZIKV NS3 antigens co-localised to placental Hofbauer cells, the placentas showed no anatomic defects. Transcriptomic analysis of samples from the placentas revealed that infection during trimester 1 caused a disparate cellular response centred on differential eIF2 signalling, mitochondrial dysfunction and oxidative phosphorylation. Despite these, the babies were delivered without any congenital anomalies. Conclusion:These findings should translate to improve clinical prenatal screening procedures for virus-infected pregnant patients.
Project description:Schinus terebinthifolius Raddi is a well-known medicinal plant native of South America. This species has demonstrated important biological activities such as antihypertensive and vasodilator, antimicrobial, anti-inflammatory and antioxidant. However, no studies have been, so far, reported with the fruits of S. terebinthifolius as a protector of the placenta against Zika virus infection and as sunscreen agents. The present study aimed to investigate new uses for the ethanolic fruit extracts of S. terebinthifolius, from fruits'peel (STPE) and from the whole fruits (STWFE). Zika virus (ZIKV) has been linked to several fetal malformations, such as microcephaly and other central nervous system abnormalities. Thus, the potential of these natural extracts against ZIKV infection was evaluated, using an in vitro method. The photoprotective potential, determined by spectrometry, along with phenolic content, antioxidant capacity, and chemical composition of both extracts were also evaluated. The chemical composition of the extracts was evaluated by HPLC-UV / vis. The cytotoxicity of peel and whole fruit extracts in vero E6 cell lines, in placental cell lines and placental explant cultures were evaluated by the MTT assay. The infectivity of placental cells and explants was evaluated by qRT-PCR and the effects of extracts on ZIKV infection were investigated using HTR-8/SVneo cells, pre-treated with 100??g?mL-1 of STWFE for 1?h, and infected with MR766 (AD) or PE243 (EH) ZIKV strains. STFE and STWFE were well-tolerated by both placental-derived trophoblast cell line HTR-8/SVneo as well as by term placental chorionic villi explants, which indicate absence of cytotoxicity in all analysed concentrations. Two strains of ZIKV were tested to access if pre-treatment of trophoblast cells with the STWFE would protect them against infection. Flow cytometry analysis revealed that STWFE extract greatly reduced ZIKV infection. The extracts were also photoprotective with SPF values equivalent to the standard, benzophenone-3. The formulations prepared in different concentrations of the extracts (5-10%) had shown maximum SPF values of 32.21. STWFE represents a potential natural mixture to be used in pregnancy in order to restrain placental infection by ZIKV and might potentially protect fetus against ZIKV-related malformations. The extracts exhibited photoprotective activity and some of the phenolic compounds, mainly resveratrol, catechin and epicatechin, are active ingredients in all assayed activities. The development of biotechnological/medical products, giving extra value to products from family farming, is expected, with strong prospects for success.
Project description:Zika virus (ZIKV) infection during human pregnancy may cause diverse and serious congenital defects in the developing fetus. Previous efforts to generate animal models of human ZIKV infection and clinical symptoms often involved manipulating mice to impair their Type I interferon (IFN) signaling, thereby allowing enhanced infection and vertical transmission of virus to the embryo. Here, we show that even pregnant mice competent to generate Type I IFN responses that can limit ZIKV infection nonetheless develop profound placental pathology and high frequency of fetal demise. We consistently found that maternal ZIKV exposure led to placental pathology and that ZIKV RNA levels measured in maternal, placental or embryonic tissues were not predictive of the pathological effects seen in the embryos. Placental pathology included trophoblast hyperplasia in the labyrinth, trophoblast giant cell necrosis in the junctional zone, and loss of embryonic vessels. Our findings suggest that, in this context of limited infection, placental pathology rather than embryonic/fetal viral infection may be a stronger contributor to adverse pregnancy outcomes in mice. Our finding demonstrates that in immunocompetent mice, direct viral infection of the embryo is not essential for fetal demise. Our immunologically unmanipulated pregnancy mouse model provides a consistent and easily measurable congenital abnormality readout to assess fetal outcome, and may serve as an additional model to test prophylactic and therapeutic interventions to protect the fetus during pregnancy, and for studying the mechanisms of ZIKV congenital immunopathogenesis.
Project description:In Brazil, an epidemic of Zika virus (ZIKV) infections was declared in 2015 that coincided with alarming reports of microcephaly in newborns associated with mother infection. Although the virus has placental tropism, changes in the tissue morphology and immunity of infected patients have not yet been elucidated. Here, we investigated the histopathological and ultrastructural changes along with the immunological profile and the BDNF expression in rare placental material. Tissues were obtained in the 2015-2016 Brazilian epidemic, of ten ZIKV-infected patients during pregnancy, five resulting in cases of fetal microcephaly and five non-microcephaly, compared to five non-infected control placentae. Viral antigens were only detected in samples from the ZIKV infected patients. Infected placentae presented histopathological severe damage, while the ultrastructural evaluation showed abnormal organelles, such as clusters of virus-like particles consistent with the ZIKV dimensions. Increased infiltration of CD68+ and TCD8+ cells, expression of MMPs, cytokines (IFN-? and TNF-?) and other immunological mediators (RANTES/CCL5 and VEGFR-2) confirmed excessive inflammation and vascular permeability dysfunction. An evaluation of BDNF showed a decrease that could modulate neuronal damage in the developing fetus. The placental changes caused by ZIKV are not pathognomonic, however, the data provide evidence that this infection leads to severe placental injury.
Project description:Zika virus (ZIKV) infection in humans has been associated with congenital malformations and other neurological disorders, such as Guillain-Barré syndrome. The mechanism(s) of ZIKV intrauterine transmission, the cell types involved, the most vulnerable period of pregnancy for severe outcomes from infection and other physiopathological aspects are not completely elucidated. In this study, we analyzed placental samples obtained at the time of delivery from a group of 24 women diagnosed with ZIKV infection during the first, second or third trimesters of pregnancy. Villous immaturity was the main histological finding in the placental tissues, although placentas without alterations were also frequently observed. Significant enhancement of the number of syncytial sprouts was observed in the placentas of women infected during the third trimester, indicating the development of placental abnormalities after ZIKV infection. Hyperplasia of Hofbauer cells (HCs) was also observed in these third-trimester placental tissues, and remarkably, HCs were the only ZIKV-positive fetal cells found in the placentas studied that persisted until birth, as revealed by immunohistochemical (IHC) analysis. Thirty-three percent of women infected during pregnancy delivered infants with congenital abnormalities, although no pattern correlating the gestational stage at infection, the IHC positivity of HCs in placental tissues and the presence of congenital malformations at birth was observed. Placental tissue analysis enabled us to confirm maternal ZIKV infection in cases where serum from the acute infection phase was not available, which reinforces the importance of this technique in identifying possible causal factors of birth defects. The results we observed in the samples from naturally infected pregnant women may contribute to the understanding of some aspects of the pathophysiology of ZIKV.
Project description:Zika virus (ZIKV) infection during pregnancy leads to devastating fetal outcomes, including intrauterine growth restriction and microcephaly. Greater understanding of mechanisms underlying ZIKV maternal-fetal transmission is needed to develop new therapeutic interventions. Here, we define an important role for the autophagy pathway in ZIKV vertical transmission. ZIKV infection induced autophagic activity in human trophoblasts and pharmacological inhibition limited ZIKV infectivity. Furthermore, deficiency in an essential autophagy gene, Atg16l1, in mice limited ZIKV vertical transmission and placental and fetal damage and overall improved placental and fetal outcomes. This protection was due to a placental trophoblast cell-autonomous effect of autophagic activity, not to alterations in systemic maternal ZIKV infection. Finally, an autophagy inhibitor, hydroxychloroquine, approved for use in pregnant women, attenuated placental and fetal ZIKV infection and ameliorated adverse placental and fetal outcomes. Our study reveals new insights into the mechanism of ZIKV vertical transmission and suggests that an autophagy-based therapeutic warrants possible evaluation in humans to diminish the risks of ZIKV maternal-fetal transmission.
Project description:Zika virus (ZIKV), which emerged in regions endemic to dengue virus (DENV), is vertically transmitted and results in adverse pregnancy outcomes. Antibodies to DENV can cross-react with ZIKV, but whether these antibodies influence ZIKV vertical transmission remains unclear. Here, we find that DENV antibodies increase ZIKV infection of placental macrophages (Hofbauer cells [HCs]) from 10% to over 80% and enhance infection of human placental explants. ZIKV-anti-DENV antibody complexes increase viral binding and entry into HCs but also result in blunted type I interferon, pro-inflammatory cytokine, and antiviral responses. Additionally, ZIKV infection of HCs and human placental explants is enhanced in an immunoglobulin G subclass-dependent manner, and targeting FcRn reduces ZIKV replication in human placental explants. Collectively, these findings support a role for pre-existing DENV antibodies in enhancement of ZIKV infection of select placental cell types and indicate that pre-existing immunity to DENV should be considered when addressing ZIKV vertical transmission.
Project description:During mammalian pregnancy, the placenta acts as a barrier between the maternal and fetal compartments. The recently observed association between Zika virus (ZIKV) infection during human pregnancy and fetal microcephaly and other anomalies suggests that ZIKV may bypass the placenta to reach the fetus. This led us to investigate ZIKV infection of primary human trophoblasts (PHTs), which are the barrier cells of the placenta. We discovered that PHT cells from full-term placentas are refractory to ZIKV infection. In addition, medium from uninfected PHT cells protects non-placental cells from ZIKV infection. PHT cells constitutively release the type III interferon (IFN) IFN?1, which functions in both a paracrine and autocrine manner to protect trophoblast and non-trophoblast cells from ZIKV infection. Our data suggest that for ZIKV to access the fetal compartment, it must evade restriction by trophoblast-derived IFN?1 and other trophoblast-specific antiviral factors and/or use alternative strategies to cross the placental barrier.
Project description:Diabetes mellitus (DM) during pregnancy can result in fetal overgrowth, likely due to placental dysfunction, which has health consequences for the infant. Here we test our prediction from previous work using a placental cell line that high glucose concentrations affect placental lipid metabolism. Placentas from women with type 1 (n = 13), type 2 (n = 6) or gestational (n = 12) DM, BMI-matched to mothers without DM (n = 18), were analysed for lipase and fatty acid transport proteins and fatty acid and triglyceride content. Explants from uncomplicated pregnancies (n = 6) cultured in physiological or high glucose were similarly analysed. High glucose levels did not alter placental lipase or transporter expression or the profile and abundance of fatty acids, but triglyceride levels were higher (p < 0.05), suggesting reduced β- oxidation. DM did not affect placental protein expression or fatty acid profile. Triglyceride levels of placentas from mothers with pre-existing DM were similar to controls, but higher in obese women with gestational DM. Maternal hyperglycemia may not affect placental fatty acid uptake and transport. However, placental β-oxidation is affected by high glucose and reduced in a subset of women with DM. Abnormal placental lipid metabolism could contribute to increased maternal-fetal lipid transfer and excess fetal growth in some DM pregnancies.
Project description:Zika virus (ZIKV) infection during pregnancy is associated with adverse fetal outcomes, including microcephaly, growth restriction, and fetal demise. Type I interferons (IFNs) are essential for host resistance against ZIKV, and IFN-?/? receptor (IFNAR)-deficient mice are highly susceptible to ZIKV infection. Severe fetal growth restriction with placental damage and fetal resorption is observed after ZIKV infection of type I IFN receptor knockout (Ifnar1-/-) dams mated with wild-type sires, resulting in fetuses with functional type I IFN signaling. The role of type I IFNs in limiting or mediating ZIKV disease within this congenital infection model remains unknown. In this study, we challenged Ifnar1-/- dams mated with Ifnar1+/- sires with ZIKV. This breeding scheme enabled us to examine pregnant dams that carry a mixture of fetuses that express (Ifnar1+/-) or do not express IFNAR (Ifnar1-/-) within the same uterus. Virus replicated to a higher titer in the placenta of Ifnar1-/- than within the Ifnar1+/- concepti. Yet, rather unexpectedly, we found that only Ifnar1+/- fetuses were resorbed after ZIKV infection during early pregnancy, whereas their Ifnar1-/- littermates continue to develop. Analyses of the fetus and placenta revealed that, after ZIKV infection, IFNAR signaling in the conceptus inhibits development of the placental labyrinth, resulting in abnormal architecture of the maternal-fetal barrier. Exposure of midgestation human chorionic villous explants to type I IFN, but not type III IFNs, altered placental morphology and induced cytoskeletal rearrangements within the villous core. Our results implicate type I IFNs as a possible mediator of pregnancy complications, including spontaneous abortions and growth restriction, in the context of congenital viral infections.