1887

Abstract

Toll-like receptor 7 (TLR7) recognizes guanidine-rich viral ssRNA and is an important mediator of peripheral immune responses to several ssRNA viruses. However, the role that TLR7 plays in regulating the innate immune response to ssRNA virus infections in specific organs such as the central nervous system (CNS) is not as clear. This study examined the influence of TLR7 on the neurovirulence of Langat virus (LGTV), a ssRNA tick-borne flavivirus. TLR7 deficiency did not substantially alter the onset or incidence of LGTV-induced clinical disease; however, it did significantly affect virus levels in the CNS with a log increase in virus titres in brain tissue from TLR7-deficient mice. This difference in virus load was also observed following intracranial inoculation, indicating a direct effect of TLR7 deficiency on regulating virus replication in the brain. LGTV-induced type I interferon responses in the CNS were not dependent on TLR7, being higher in TLR7-deficient mice compared with wild-type controls. In contrast, induction of pro-inflammatory cytokines including tumour necrosis factor, CCL3, CCL4 and CXCL13 were dependent on TLR7. Thus, although TLR7 is not essential in controlling LGTV pathogenesis, it is important in controlling virus infection in neurons in the CNS, possibly by regulating neuroinflammatory responses.

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2013-02-01
2019-09-22
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