Circulating levels of matrix metalloproteinases and tissue inhibitors of matrix metalloproteinases during Japanese encephalitis virus infection
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Matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs) are widely implicated in modulating blood brain barrier (BBB) integrity and affect the entry of peripheral immune cells into the central nervous system (CNS). The expression of MMPs is tightly regulated at the level of gene transcription, conversion of pro-enzyme to active MMPs and by the action of tissue inhibitors of metalloproteinases (TIMP). The crucial role of MMPs in inflammation indicates that perturbation of the MMP/TIMP balance decisively plays an important role in pathogenesis during viral encephalitis. The study was performed to evaluate the production of MMP-2, MMP-7, MMP-9, TIMP-1 and TIMP-3 in the sera of JEV i.e. GP 78668A (GP-78) infected BALB/c mouse model of encephalitis and gel zymography was performed for MMP-2 and MMP-9 activities. The estimation of MMP-2, MMP-7, MMP-9, TIMP-1, and TIMP-3 in JEV-infected mouse serum was analyzed by ELISA along with brain histopathology and immunohistochemistry. Evan’s blue dye exclusion test was done to check the BBB integrity. Gelatin gel zymography was performed for MMP-2 and MMP-9 activities. We noticed an upregulated expression of MMPs in the sera of virus infected groups compared to controls at different days post inoculation (dpi). Post hoc analysis between days also reveals significant increase (p < 0.05) in virus infected groups with disease progression. In contrast, TIMPs expressions were significantly (p < 0.005) down regulated in the virus infected group. We provide preliminary evidence for a pattern of TIMP response in JEV infection distinct from that seen in acute inflammatory CNS conditions in JE, shown in our previous findings. Increased MMP-2 and MMP-9 activities were also found in a virus infected group with disease progression and are consistent with our previous finding of MMP-2 and MMP-9 activities in the CNS which clearly demonstrate worsen role of these immune mediators in JEV infection. This study will help to identify new targets for the therapeutic treatment of inflammatory mediated CNS disorders in JEV infection and may lead to the development of potential pharmacological targets in future.
KeywordsJapanese encephalitis Blood brain barrier Matrix metalloproteinases Tissue inhibitors of metalloproteinases Neuropathogenesis Inflammation
We thank Dr. Sudhanshu Vrati from National Institute of Immunology, New Delhi, for providing the Japanese encephalitis virus strain GP-78 and PS cell line. We thank Dr. S. K. Mandal for his assistance with statistical analysis. This work was supported by a grant (No Immuno/18/11/13/2008-ECD-I) from the Indian Council of Medical Research, New Delhi, India.
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