Lack of Toll-like receptor 3 (TLR3) functional activity predisposes children to human herpesvirus 1 (HSV-1) encephalitis. In this study, we have investigated whether there is any link between TLR3 and adult HSV-2 infection by studying genetic variations in TLR3. The frequency of four single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in the TLR3 gene in 239 patients with genital HSV-2 infection and 162 healthy controls, as well as the impact of these variants on TLR3 gene-expression levels, were compared. Two SNPs in the TLR3 gene (rs13126816 and rs3775291) were associated with a reduced incidence of HSV-2 infection. The minor allelic variants at both rs13126816 and rs3775291 were more common among healthy HSV-2-seronegative subjects than among HSV-2-infected individuals. This was even more apparent in HSV-1-seronegative individuals. There was, however, no association between any of the four TLR3 SNPs and HSV-2 disease severity, as they were expressed at similar proportions in asymptomatic and symptomatic HSV-2-infected patients alike. Furthermore, when assessing TLR3 mRNA expression in a limited number of HSV-2-infected individuals, we found that individuals carrying the homozygous genotypes for the minor alleles had significantly higher levels of TLR3 mRNA expression in peripheral blood mononuclear cells in response to HSV-2 stimulation than individuals that were homozygous for the major allele variants. Taken together, these results suggest that genetic variations in TLR3 may affect the susceptibility to HSV-2 infection in humans.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: HSV, a neurotropic virus, travels within neuronal processes by fast axonal transport. During neuronal infection HSV travels retrograde from the sensory nerve terminus to the neuronal cell body, where it replicates or enters latency. During replication HSV travels anterograde from the cell body to the nerve terminus. Postmortem studies find a high frequency of HSV DNA in the trigeminal ganglia as well as the brain. Studies correlating HSV with Alzheimer's disease (AD) have been controversial. Here we review clinical evidence supporting such a link. Furthermore, the author describes experimental data showing physical interactions between nascent HSV particles and host transport machinery implicated in AD. The author concludes that the complexity of this relationship has been insufficiently explored, although the relative ease and nontoxicity of a potential anti-HSV treatment for AD demands further study.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Hepatitis C virus (HCV) is the most common chronic blood-borne infection in the United States with the majority of patients becoming chronically infected and a subset (20%) progressing to cirrhosis and hepatocellular carcinoma. Individual variations in immune responses may help define successful resistance to infection with HCV. We have examined the immune response in primary macrophages from patients who have spontaneously cleared HCV (viral load negative, VL-, n = 37) compared to HCV genotype 1 chronically infected (VL+) subjects (n=32) and found that macrophages from VL- subjects have an elevated baseline expression of Toll-like receptor 3 (TLR3). Macrophages from HCV patients were stimulated ex vivo through the TLR3 pathway and assessed using gene expression arrays and pathway analysis. We found elevated TLR3 response genes and pathway activity from VL- subjects. Furthermore, macrophages from VL- subjects showed higher production of IFN-β and related IFN response genes by Q-PCR, and increased phosphorylation of STAT-1 by immunoblot. Analysis of polymorphisms in TLR3 revealed a significant association of intronic TLR3 polymorphism (rs13126816) with the clearance of HCV and the expression of TLR3. Of note, PBMCs from the same donors showed opposite changes in gene expression, suggesting ongoing inflammatory responses in PBMCs from VL+ HCV patients. Our results suggest that an elevated innate immune response enhances HCV clearance mechanisms and may offer a potential therapeutic approach to increase viral clearance.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Toll-like receptors (TLRs) are germ-line-encoded innate immune sensors that recognize conserved microbial structures and host alarmins and signal expression of MHC proteins, costimulatory molecules, and inflammatory mediators by macrophages, neutrophils, dendritic cells, and other cell types. These processes activate immediate and early mechanisms of innate host defense, as well as initiate and orchestrate adaptive immune responses. Several single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) within the TLR genes have been associated with altered susceptibility to infectious, inflammatory, and allergic diseases, and have been found to play a role in tumorigenesis. Critical advances in our understanding of innate immune functions and genome-wide association studies (GWAS) have uncovered complex interactions of genetic polymorphisms within TLRs and environmental factors. However, conclusions obtained in the course of such analyses are restricted by limited power of many studies that is likely to explain controversial findings. Further, linkages to certain ethnic backgrounds, gender, and the presence of multigenic effects further complicate the interpretations of how the TLR SNPs affect immune responses. For many TLRs, the molecular mechanisms by which SNPs impact receptor functions remain unknown. In this review, I have summarized current knowledge about the TLR polymorphisms, their impact on TLR signaling, and associations with various inflammatory, infectious, allergic diseases and cancers, and discussed the directions of future scientific research.
Journal of interferon & cytokine research: the official journal of the International Society for Interferon and Cytokine Research 05/2013; 33(9). DOI:10.1089/jir.2012.0140 · 2.00 Impact Factor
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