[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: To study the role of protease-activated receptor (PAR)2 in coxsackievirus B (CVB) 3-induced myocarditis.
An infection with CVB3 leads to myocarditis. PAR2 modulates the innate immune response. Toll-like receptor 3 (TLR3) is crucial for the innate immune response by inducing the expression of the antiviral cytokine interferon (IFN)β.
To induce myocarditis, wild-type (wt) and PAR2 knockout (ko) mice were infected with 10(5) plaque forming units CVB3. Mice underwent hemodynamic measurements with a 1.2F microconductance catheter. Wt and PAR2ko hearts and cardiac cells were analyzed for viral replication and immune response with plaque assay, qPCR, Western blot and immunohistochemistry.
PAR2ko mice and cardiomyocytes exhibited a reduced viral load and developed no myocarditis after infection with CVB3 compared to wt mice. Hearts and cardiac fibroblasts from PAR2ko mice expressed higher basal levels of IFNβ compared with wt mice. Treatment with CVB3 and polyinosinic:polycytidylic acid led to higher IFNβ expression in PAR2ko than in wt fibroblasts and reduced virus replication in PAR2ko fibroblasts was abrogated by neutralizing IFNβ antibody. Overexpression of PAR2 reduced the basal IFNβ expression. Moreover, a direct interaction between PAR2 and TLR3 was observed. PAR2 expression in endomyocardial biopsies of patients with non-ischemic cardiomyopathy was positively correlated with myocardial inflammation and negatively with IFNβ expression and left ventricular ejection fraction.
PAR2 negatively regulates the innate immune response to CVB3 infection and contributes to myocardial dysfunction. The antagonism of PAR2 is of therapeutic interest to strengthen the antiviral response after an infection with a cardiotropic virus.
Journal of the American College of Cardiology 07/2013; · 14.09 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: In this manuscript we describe for the first time mirror image catalytic nucleic acids (Spiegelzymes), which hydrolyze sequence specifically L-ribonucleic acid molecules. The mirror image nucleic acid ribozymes designed are based upon the known hammerhead ribozyme and DNAzyme structures that contain L-ribose or L-deoxyribose instead of the naturally occurring D-ribose or D-deoxyribose, respectively. Both Spiegelzymes show similar hydrolytic activities with the same L-RNA target molecules and they also exhibit extra ordinary stabilities when tested with three different human sera. In this respect they are very similar to Spiegelmers (mirror image aptamers), which we had previously developed and for which it has been shown that they are non-toxic and non-immunogenic. Since we are also able to demonstrate that the hammerhead and DNAzyme Spiegelzymes can also hydrolyze mirror image oligonucleotide sequences, like they occur in Spiegelmers, in vivo, it seems reasonable to assume that Spiegelzymes may in principle be used as an antidote against Spiegelmers. Since the Spiegelzymes contain the same building blocks as the Spiegelmers, it can be expected that they will have similar favorable biological characteristics concerning toxicity and immunogenety. In trying to understand the mechanism of action of the Spiegelzymes described in this study, we have initiated for the first time a model building system with L-nucleic acids. The models for L-hammerhead ribozyme and L-DNAzyme interaction with the same L-RNA target will be presented.
PLoS ONE 01/2013; 8(1):e54741. · 3.73 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Well-established differences in Coxsackievirus B3 (CVB3) elimination in resistant C57BL/6 and permissive A.SW/SnJ mice provide suitable models for studying the significance of the link between mitochondrial respiratory chain (RC), antioxidative stress components and mitochondrion-related apoptosis in the context of myocardial virus elimination. Distinct myocardial CVB3 titer in C57BL/6 (2.5 ± 1.4 × 10(4) plaque-forming units (p.f.u.)/g tissue) and A.SW/SnJ mice (1.4 ± 0.8 × 10(7) p.f.u./g) were associated with differences in the cardiac mitochondrial function 8 days post infection (p.i.). Infected C57BL/6 mouse hearts disclosed increased complex I (CI) and CIII activity, but restricted CII and normal CIV activity of RC. Reduced expression of the antioxidative catalase was accompanied by elevated lipid peroxidation (LPO), indicating oxidative stress. Intrinsic apoptosis was activated demonstrated by elevated levels of Bax, Bcl-2, caspase 3 and DNA degradation. In contrast, all myocardial RC complex activities were restricted in CVB3-infected A.SW/SnJ mice. The antioxidative system provided sufficient protection against oxidative stress shown by an elevated catalase expression and unaltered LPO. Bax and Bcl-2 levels were unchanged in CVB3-infected A.SW/SnJ mice, while caspase 3 was moderately increased but no DNA degradation was detectable. Correlation analyses including data from the two mouse strains revealed that reduced CVB3 titer correlated with increased CI and CIII activity, oxidative stress as well as active apoptosis during acute myocarditis (MC). C57BL/6 mice completely eliminated CVB3 and inflammation and normalized all intracellular parameters, while A.SW/SnJ mice showed permanently restricted CI activity in chronic MC 90 days p.i., at which time the replicating virus was no longer detectable but immunological processes were still active. Consequently, the regulation of energy metabolism appears crucial for an effective virus elimination and may be of prognostic and therapeutic significance for patients with virus-induced MC.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Coevolution of virus and host is a process that emerges in persistent virus infections. Here we studied the coevolutionary development of coxsackievirus B3 (CVB3) and cardiac myocytes representing the major target cells of CVB3 in the heart in a newly established persistently CVB3-infected murine cardiac myocyte cell line, HL-1(CVB3). CVB3 persistence in HL-1(CVB3) cells represented a typical carrier-state infection with high levels (10(6) to 10(8) PFU/ml) of infectious virus produced from only a small proportion (approximately 10%) of infected cells. CVB3 persistence was characterized by the evolution of a CVB3 variant (CVB3-HL1) that displayed strongly increased cytotoxicity in the naive HL-1 cell line and showed increased replication rates in cultured primary cardiac myocytes of mouse, rat, and naive HL-1 cells in vitro, whereas it was unable to establish murine cardiac infection in vivo. Resistance of HL-1(CVB3) cells to CVB3-HL1 was associated with reduction of coxsackievirus and adenovirus receptor (CAR) expression. Decreasing host cell CAR expression was partially overcome by the CVB3-HL1 variant through CAR-independent entry into resistant cells. Moreover, CVB3-HL1 conserved the ability to infect cells via CAR. The employment of a soluble CAR variant resulted in the complete cure of HL-1(CVB3) cells with respect to the adapted virus. In conclusion, this is the first report of a CVB3 carrier-state infection in a cardiomyocyte cell line, revealing natural coevolution of CAR downregulation with CAR-independent viral entry in resistant host cells as an important mechanism of induction of CVB3 persistence.
Journal of Virology 12/2011; 85(24):13409-19. · 5.08 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Human parvovirus B19 (B19V) DNA is highly prevalent in endothelial cells lining up intramyocardial arterioles and postcapillary venules of patients with chronic myocarditis and cardiomyopathies. We addressed the question of a possible stimulation of B19V gene expression in endothelial cells by infection with adenoviruses. Adenovirus infection led to a strong augmentation of B19V structural and nonstructural proteins in individual endothelial cells infected with B19V or transfected with an infectious B19V genome. Transactivation was mostly mediated at the level of transcription and not due to adenovirus-mediated induction of second-strand synthesis from the single-stranded parvoviral genome. The main adenoviral functions required were E1A and E4orf6, which displayed synergistic effects. Furthermore, a limited B19V genome replication could be demonstrated in endothelial cells and adenovirus infection induced the appearance of putative dimeric replication intermediates. Thus the almost complete block in B19V gene expression seen in endothelial cells can be abrogated by infection with other viruses.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: RNA interference has proven to be a powerful tool to inhibit viruses. For the prevention of viral escape, multiple short hairpin RNAs (shRNAs) will have to be employed. This article describes a rapid procedure for the generation of shRNA expression cassettes by parallel cloning as well as a simple strategy for the combination of selected units. After delivery of the shRNA expression cassettes with adeno-associated virus vectors, inhibition of echovirus 30 as well as silencing of an important cellular cofactor of virus replication were achieved. The procedure has the potential to be generally applicable for silencing of multiple endogenous targets or viruses.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: This study was conducted by the International Consortium for Blood Safety (ICBS) to identify high-quality test kits for detection of hepatitis B virus (HBV) surface antigen (HBsAg) for the benefit of developing countries.
The 70 HBsAg test kits from around the world were evaluated comparatively for their clinical sensitivity, analytical sensitivity, sensitivity to HBV genotypes and HBsAg subtypes, and specificity using 394 (146 clinical, 48 analytical and 200 negative) ICBS Master Panel members of diverse geographical origin comprising the major HBV genotypes A-F and the HBsAg subtypes adw2,4, adr and ayw1-4.
Seventeen HBsAg enzyme immunoassay (EIA) kits had high analytical sensitivity <0.13 IU/ml, showed 100% diagnostic sensitivity, and were even sensitive for the various HBV variants tested. An additional six test kits had high sensitivity (<0.13 IU/ml) but missed HBsAg mutants and/or showed reduced sensitivity to certain HBV genotypes. Twenty HBsAg EIA kits were in the sensitivity range of 0.13-1 IU/ml. The other eight EIAs and the 19 rapid assays had analytical sensitivities of 1 to >4 IU/ml. These assays were falsely negative for 1-4 clinical samples and 17 of these test kits showed genotype dependent sensitivity reduction. Analytical sensitivities for HBsAg of >1 IU/ml significantly reduce the length of the HBsAg positive period which renders them less reliable for detecting HBsAg in asymptomatic HBV infections. Reduced sensitivity for HBsAg with genetic diversity of HBV occurred with genotypes/subtypes D/ayw3, E/ayw4, F/adw4 and by S gene mutants. Specificity of the HBsAg assays was >or=99.5% in 57 test kits and 96.4-99.0% in the remaining test kits.
Diagnostic efficacy of the evaluated HBsAg test kits differed substantially. Laboratories should therefore be aware of the analytical sensitivity for HBsAg and check for the relevant HBV variants circulating in the relevant population.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Enteroviruses, especially Coxsackie B3 virus (CVB-3), cause acute viral myocarditis, but the detailed mechanisms leading to chronic left ventricular dysfunction and dilatation remain elusive. Myocardial tissues of CVB-3 infected and sham infected male swr/J mice were analyzed after hemodynamic evaluation on days 4, 7, and 28 p.i. by RT-PCR, gelatin zymography, ELISA, immunohistochemistry, sirius red staining, and luxol fast blue staining. In the early phase after infection an abnormal diastolic function was the main hemodynamic finding. CVB-3 infection caused impairment of left ventricular function combined with ventricular dilatation 7 and 28days post-infection. These hemodynamic findings were associated with relevant upregulation of different cytokines (IL-1beta, IL-6, IL-10, INF-gamma, and TNF-alpha) in the acute phase with persistent over-expression of IL-6, IL-10, and INF-gamma in the chronic phase. This virus induced myocardial inflammation was linked to a significant induced MMP/TIMP system (MMP-2,-3,-8, TIMP-1, uPA, tPA-mRNA expression, and MMP-2-activity) in the acute and chronic phase leading to imbalance in the MMP/TIMP-ratio at day 28. This imbalance in the MMP/TIMP system was significantly correlated to the development of ventricular dilatation. Viral persistence induces chronic myocardial inflammation and an imbalance of the matrix degrading system, associated with the development of left ventricular dysfunction and dilatation in chronic murine myocarditis.
European journal of pharmacology 03/2010; 630(1-3):145-51. · 2.59 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: This study describes the first application of unlocked nucleic acid (UNA)-modified small interfering RNAs (siRNAs) directed against a medically relevant target, the coxsackievirus B3. We systematically analyzed the impact of different siRNA modification patterns and observed good compatibility of the introduction of UNA with the maintenance of high antiviral activity. Additionally, the polarity of an siRNA was successfully reversed by modulating the relative stability of the termini with locked nucleic acid (LNA) and UNA as shown in a reporter assay. The potency of the reversed siRNA against the full-length target was, however, too low to inhibit the infectious virus. Altogether, combined modification of siRNAs with LNA und UNA provides a promising approach to alter and improve properties of an siRNA.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Group B coxsackieviruses (CVBs) are the prototypical agents of acute myocarditis and chronic dilated cardiomyopathy, but an effective targeted therapy is still not available. Here, we analyze the therapeutic potential of a soluble (s) virus receptor molecule against CVB3 myocarditis using a gene therapy approach.
We generated an inducible adenoviral vector (AdG12) for strict drug-dependent delivery of sCAR-Fc, a fusion protein composed of the coxsackievirus-adenovirus receptor (CAR) extracellular domains and the carboxyl terminus of human IgG1-Fc. Decoy receptor expression was strictly doxycycline dependent, with no expression in the absence of an inducer. CVB3 infection of HeLa cells was efficiently blocked by supernatant from AdG12-transduced cells, but only in the presence of doxycycline. After liver-specific transfer, AdG12 (plus doxycycline) significantly improved cardiac contractility and diastolic relaxation compared with a control vector in CVB3-infected mice if sCAR-Fc was induced before infection (left ventricular pressure 59+/-3.8 versus 45.4+/-2.7 mm Hg, median 59 versus 45.8 mm Hg, P<0.01; dP/dt(max) 3645.1+/-443.6 versus 2057.9+/-490.2 mm Hg/s, median 3526.6 versus 2072 mm Hg/s, P<0.01; and dP/dt(min) -2125.5+/-330.5 versus -1310.2+/-330.3 mm Hg/s, median -2083.7 versus -1295.9 mm Hg/s, P<0.01) and improved contractility if induced concomitantly with infection (left ventricular pressure 76.4+/-19.2 versus 56.8+/-10.3 mm Hg, median 74.8 versus 54.4 mm Hg, P<0.05; dP/dt(max) 5214.2+/-1786.2 versus 3011.6+/-918.3 mm Hg/s, median 5182.1 versus 3106.6 mm Hg/s, P<0.05), respectively. Importantly, hemodynamics of animals treated with AdG12 (plus doxycycline) were similar to uninfected controls. Preinfection induction of sCAR-Fc completely blocked and concomitant induction strongly reduced cardiac CVB3 infection, myocardial injury, and inflammation.
AdG12-mediated sCAR-Fc delivery prevents cardiac dysfunction in CVB3 myocarditis under prophylactic and therapeutic conditions.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Coxsackievirus B3 (CVB-3) is a major causative agent of chronic heart muscle infections. The present study describes a cell culture system with an ongoing virus infection to evaluate two novel inhibitory strategies, either individually or combined: (1) RNA interference (RNAi) to degrade cytoplasmatic CVB-3 RNA and (2) a vector-delivered soluble variant of the coxsackievirus-adenovirus receptor fused to a human immunoglobulin (sCAR-Fc), which inhibits cellular uptake of CVB-3. Both approaches were capable of inhibiting CVB-3 in persistently infected human myocardial fibroblasts. The antiviral effect of a single treatment lasted for up to one week and could be extended by repeated applications. Each of the single treatments initially reduced the virus titer by approximately 1-log, whereas the combination of both approaches resulted in 4-log inhibition and retained substantial antiviral activity at later time points, when the effect of sCAR-Fc or siRNAs alone had already disappeared. Further analysis revealed that sCAR-Fc protects cells from virus-induced lysis but does not diminish the virus load. Reduction of the virus titer was only achieved with additional destruction of viral RNA by RNAi. Taken together, combination of RNAi and a protein-based antiviral strategy was found to result in a strong synergistic inhibition of an ongoing virus infection.
Antiviral research 08/2009; 83(3):298-306. · 3.61 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The disturbance of myocardial energy metabolism has been discussed as contributing to the progression of heart failure. Little however is known about the cardiac mitochondrial/cytosolic energy transfer in murine and human inflammatory heart disease. We examined the myocardial creatine kinase (CK) system, which connects mitochondrial ATP-producing and cytosolic ATP-consuming processes and is thus of central importance to the cellular energy homeostasis. The time course of expression and enzymatic activity of mitochondrial (mtCK) and cytosolic CK (cytCK) was investigated in Coxsackievirus B3 (CVB3)-infected SWR mice, which are susceptible to the development of chronic myocarditis. In addition, cytCK activity and isoform expression were analyzed in biopsies from patients with chronic inflammatory heart disease (n = 22). Cardiac CVB3 titer in CVB3-infected mice reached its maximum at 4 days post-infection (pi) and became undetectable at 28 days pi; cardiac inflammation cumulated 14 days pi but persisted through the 28-day survey. MtCK enzymatic activity was reduced by 40% without a concurrent decrease in mtCK protein during early and acute MC. Impaired mtCK activity was correlated with virus replication and increased level of interleukine 1beta (IL-1beta), tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNFalpha), and elevated catalase expression, a marker for intracellular oxidative stress. A reduction in cytCK activity of 48% was observed at day 14 pi and persisted to day 28 pi. This restriction was caused by a decrease in cytCK subunit expression but also by direct inhibition of specific cytCK activity. CytCK activity and expression were also reduced in myocardial biopsies from enterovirus genome-negative patients with inflammatory heart disease. The decrease in cytCK activity correlated with the number of infiltrating macrophages. Thus, viral infection and myocardial inflammation significantly influence the myocardial CK system via restriction of specific CK activity and down-regulation of cytCK protein. These changes may contribute to the progression of chronic inflammatory heart disease and malfunction of the heart.
Archiv für Kreislaufforschung 03/2009; 104(3):247-57. · 7.35 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: RNA interference (RNAi) has been shown to be suitable to inhibit viruses in experimental setups and is considered a promising antiviral strategy that is currently being tested in various clinical trials. The present study provides an approach to design siRNAs with high potency against a virus-specific target gene. In recent years, several outbreaks of aseptic meningitis caused by an echovirus 30 (EV-30) infection have been described. Based on an initial set of 30 in silico designed siRNAs, six siRNAs targeting the 3D RNA-dependent RNA-Polymerase (3D(Pol)) of EV-30 were selected. All but one of them showed high efficiency in both, reporter and virus assays. A second aim of the study was to re-investigate the relevance of the decay-accelerating factor (DAF, also known as CD55) as cellular entry receptor of EV-30 by means of RNAi, a question which had been under debate in previous studies. Knockdown of DAF inhibited drastically infection by EV-30 indicating that DAF plays an important role either as an attachment factor or as a receptor.
Journal of virological methods 02/2009; 157(2):211-8. · 2.13 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: This study describes a strategy to develop LNA-modified small interfering RNA (siRNAs) against the highly structured 5' UTR of coxsackievirus B3 (CVB-3), which is an attractive target site due to its high degree of conservation. Accessible sites were identified based on structural models and RNase H assays with DNA oligonucleotides. Subsequently, LNA gapmers, siRNAs, siLNAs and small internally segmented interfering RNA (sisiLNAs) were designed against sites, which were found to be accessible in the in vitro assays, and tested in reporter assays and experiments with the infectious virus. The best siLNA improved viability of infected cells by 92% and exerted good antiviral activity in plaque reduction assays.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: RNA interference (RNAi) has potential to be a novel therapeutic strategy in diverse areas of medicine. In this paper, we report on targeted RNAi for the treatment of a viral cardiomyopathy, which is a major cause of sudden cardiac death or terminal heart failure in children and young adults. RNAi therapy employs small regulatory RNAs to achieve its effect, but in vivo use of synthetic small interfering RNAs is limited by instability in plasma and low transfer into target cells. We instead evaluated an RNAi strategy using short hairpin RNA (shRdRp) directed at the RNA polymerase (RdRP) of coxsackievirus B3 (CoxB3) in HeLa cells, primary rat cardiomyocytes (PNCMs) and CoxB3-infected mice in vivo. A conventional AAV2 vector expressing shRdRp protected HeLa against virus-induced death, but this vector type was unable to transduce PNCMs. In contrast, an analogous pseudotyped AAV2.6 vector was protective also in PNCMs and reduced virus replication by >3 log10 steps. Finally, we evaluated the intravenous treatment of mice with an AAV2.9-shRdRp vector because AAV9 carries the most cardiotropic AAV capsid currently known for in vivo use. Mice with CoxB3 cardiomyopathy had disturbed left ventricular (LV) function with impaired parameters of contractility (dP/dtmax = 3,006 +/- 287 vs. 7,482 +/- 487 mmHg/s, p < 0.01) and diastolic relaxation (dP/dtmin = -2,224 +/- 195 vs. -6,456 +/- 356 mmHg/s, p < 0.01 and Tau = 16.2 +/- 1.1 vs. 10.7 +/- 0.6 ms, p < 0.01) compared to control mice. AAV2.9-shRdRp treatment significantly attenuated the cardiac dysfunction compared to control vector-treated mice on day 10 after CoxB3 infection: dP/dtmax = 3,865 +/- 354 vs. 3,006 +/- 287 mmHg/s (p < 0.05), dP/dtmin = -3,245 +/- 231 vs. -2,224 +/- 195 mmHg/s (p < 0.05) and Tau = 11.9 +/- 0.5 vs. 16.2 +/- 1.1 ms (p < 0.01). The data show, for the first time, that intravenously injected AAV9 has the potential to target RNAi to the heart and suggest AAV9-shRNA vectors as a novel therapeutic approach for cardiac disorders.
Journal of Molecular Medicine 06/2008; 86(9):987-97. · 4.77 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Picornaviruses are a class of RNA viruses with a single-stranded genome in positive orientation. Since the prospects of treatment are limited, we employ RNA interference (RNAi) as an antiviral tool to inhibit different picornaviruses. We identified small interfering RNAs (siRNAs) against the 3D RNA dependent RNA polymerase of coxsackievirus B3 that were capable of efficiently inhibiting the virus. Targeting of the conserved 5' UTR of the virus turned out to be a challenging task since stable structures of this region are detrimental to silencing. We developed a rational strategy to solve this problem and found an siRNA containing locked nucleic acids (LNAs) to possess high antiviral potency. To analyse the mechanism of virus inhibition in more detail, LNAs were incorporated into the siRNA to inactivate either of the siRNA strands. These experiments clearly revealed that only the genomic plus-strand but not the intermediary synthesised minus-strand can be targeted by siRNAs. Furthermore, siRNAs were employed to silence the virus receptor on the host cell and thus prevent viral spread.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: As coxsackievirus B3 (CoxB3) and adenoviruses may cause acute myocarditis and inflammatory cardiomyopathy, isolation of the common coxsackievirus-adenovirus-receptor (CAR) has provided an interesting new target for molecular antiviral therapy. Whereas many viruses show high mutation rates enabling them to develop escape mutants, mutations of their cellular virus receptors are far less likely. We report on antiviral efficacies of CAR gene silencing by short hairpin (sh)RNAs in the cardiac-derived HL-1 cell line and in primary neonatal rat cardiomyocytes (PNCMs). Treatment with shRNA vectors mediating RNA interference against the CAR resulted in almost complete silencing of receptor expression both in HL-1 cells and PNCMs. Whereas CAR was silenced in HL-1 cells as early as 24 h after vector treatment, its downregulation in PNCMs did not become significant before day 6. CAR knockout resulted in inhibition of CoxB3 infections by up to 97% in HL-1 cells and up to 90% in PNCMs. Adenovirus was inhibited by only 75% in HL-1 cells, but up to 92% in PNCMs. We conclude that CAR knockout by shRNA vectors is efficient against CoxB3 and adenovirus in primary cardiac cells, but the efficacy of this approach in vivo may be influenced by cell type-specific silencing kinetics in different tissues.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: RNA interference triggered by small interfering RNAs (siRNAs) can be used to effectively contain viral spread. Here, we report on the mechanism of action of siRNAs targeting the medically important coxsackievirus B3 (CVB-3) as a typical representative of viruses with a non-segmented RNA genome in positive-strand orientation. Antiviral siRNAs can be designed to target the genomic (+)-strand, the (-)-strand that occurs as a replication intermediate, or both. In the present study, two complementary and systematic approaches are presented providing direct evidence that silencing of the viral (+)-strand is the key to inhibit CVB-3: first, we used rational siRNA design to direct silencing activity specifically against either of the two viral strands. As a second approach, we employed siRNA containing modified nucleotides to render them specific for one of the virus RNAs. Experiments with infectious coxsackievirus revealed that the inhibitory efficiency correlates exclusively with the activity of the siRNAs directed against the viral (+)-strand. Our finding that only (+)-strand specific siRNAs exert significant antiviral potency may hold true for other RNA viruses with (+)-stranded genomes as well and may therefore be helpful in the development of efficient strategies to inhibit virus propagation.
Antiviral Research 04/2007; 73(3):197-205. · 3.93 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Immune response is critically involved in determining the course of viral myocarditis and immunomodulation. Different cytokines may have either deleterious or protective effects. Following acute Coxsackievirus B3 infection, intramyocardial inflammation is associated with altered myocardial matrix metalloproteinase (MMP) expression and left ventricular dysfunction. In this study, we evaluated the effect of exogenous interleukin-4 treatment on myocardial inflammation, MMPs and left ventricular function in Coxsackievirus B3-induced acute murine myocarditis. Eight-week-old inbred male BALB/c (H-2d) mice (The Jackson Laboratory, Bar Harbor, Maine, USA) were used. Myocardial inflammation was measured by immunohistochemical detection of CD3(+)-, CD8a(+)-T-lymphocytes, and CD11b+ macrophages. In situ hybridization was used to detect enteroviral genome in the myocardium. Semi-quantitative reverse transcriptase polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) was employed to detect cytokine and MMP mRNA. MMP activity was quantified by zymography analysis. Detection of myocytolysis was performed by Luxol fast blue staining. In the early acute phase, in comparison to infected mice without treatment, interleukin-4 administration (200 ng daily) reduced intramyocardial inflammation (CD3+ lymphocytes: 55.3+/-7.0 vs. 72.1+/-13.7 cells/mm2, P < 0.05; CD8a+ lymphocytes: 31.7+/-3.6 vs. 64.2+/-7.7 cells/mm2, P < 0.05; CD11b+ macrophages: 5.1+/-2.3 vs. 13.2+/-2.5 cells/mm2, P < 0.05). It also down-regulated interleukin-2 (IL) (1.7-fold, P < 0.001) but increased transforming growth factor-beta1 (TGF) (1.5-fold, P < 0.001) and IL-4 (1.4-fold, P < 0.001). IL-4 suppressed MMP-2/-3/-9 transcription and activity. These biochemical alterations were accompanied by a significant improvement of left ventricular function as assessed by Milar tip catheter (left ventricular endsystolic pressure, 1.3-fold, P < 0.01; dP/dt max, 1.5-fold, P < 0.01). Immunomodulation by exogenous IL-4 treatment may lead to an anti-inflammatory effect with the inhibition of Th1 cell phenotypic response, which may further mediate the down-regulation of MMPs. A significant suppression of MMPs may mainly contribute to an improvement of left ventricular dysfunction in acute murine CVB3-induced myocarditis.
European Journal of Pharmacology 01/2007; 554(1):60-8. · 2.59 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Coxsackie adenovirus receptor (CAR) is involved in immunological processes, and its soluble isoforms have antiviral effects on coxsackievirus B3 (CVB3) infection in vitro. We explored in this study the impact of CAR4/7, a soluble CAR isoform, on CVB3-induced myocarditis in BALB/c mice. BALB/c mice were treated daily with recombinant CAR4/7, beta-galactosidase (beta-Gal; as control protein) or buffer for 9 days. Half of each group was infected with CVB3 on day 3, and all mice were killed on day 9. Myocardial CVB3 titer, histology, and serology were analyzed. Treatment with CAR4/7 led to a significant reduction of myocardial CVB3 titer, whereas the application of beta-Gal had no detectable effect on the myocardial virus load. CAR4/7 application, however, resulted in increased myocardial inflammation and tissue damage in CVB3-infected hearts, whereas beta-Gal caused a degree of cardiac inflammation and injury similar to that in buffer-treated CVB3-infected control animals. CAR4/7 and beta-Gal treatment induced the production of antibodies against the respective antigens. CAR4/7-, but not beta-Gal-specific, virus-negative sera reacted against myocardial tissue and cellular membranous CAR, and significantly inhibited CVB3 infection in vitro. Thus, CAR4/7 suppressed CVB3 infection in vivo, supporting the concept of receptor analog in antiviral therapy. However, CAR4/7 treatment also leads to an aggravation of myocardial inflammation and injury most likely secondary to an autoimmune process.
Journal of Molecular Medicine 11/2006; 84(10):842-51. · 4.77 Impact Factor