Cytosolic DNA sensors and CNS responses to viral pathogens
Marriott, IanJeffries, Austin
1 online resource
Viral central nervous system (CNS) infections can lead to life threatening encephalitis and long-term neurological deficits in survivors. Resident CNS cell types, such as astrocytes and microglia, are known to produce key inflammatory and antiviral mediators following infection with neurotropic DNA viruses. However, the mechanisms by which glia mediate such responses remain poorly understood. Recently, a class of intracellular pattern recognition receptors (PRRs), collectively known as DNA sensors, have been identified in both leukocytic and non-leukocytic cell types. The ability of such DNA sensors to initiate immune mediator production and contribute to infection resolution in the periphery is increasingly recognized, but our understanding of their role in the CNS remains limited at best. In this review, we describe the evidence for the expression and functionality of DNA sensors in resident brain cells, with a focus on their role in neurotropic virus infections. The available data indicate that glia and neurons can constitutively express, and/or can be induced to express, various disparate DNA sensing molecules previously described in peripheral cell types. Furthermore, multiple lines of investigation suggest that these sensors are functional in resident CNS cells and are required for innate immune responses to viral infections. However, it is less clear whether DNA sensormediated glial responses are beneficial or detrimental, and the answer to this question appears to dependent on the context of the infection with regard to the identity of the pathogen, host cell type, and host species. Defining such parameters will be essential if we are to successfully target these molecules to limit damaging inflammation while allowing beneficial host responses to improve patient outcomes.
Frontiers in cellular and infection microbiology
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