Frontiers | Induction of the pro-inflammatory NF-kB-sensitive miRNA-146a by human neurotrophic viruses | Virology

A remarkably wide variety of human neurotrophic viruses—ranging from herpes simplex 1 (HSV-1;Herpesviridae; dsDNA genome) to Hantavirus (HTV; Bunyaviridae; (−)ssRNA genome) to human immunodeficiency virus (HIV; Retroviridae; (+)ssRNA genome) are associated with the rapid up-regulation of the NF-kB-sensitive pro-inflammatory microRNA-146a (miRNA-146a) in the host shortly after infection. This significant miRNA-146a up-regulation appears to be beneficial to the infecting virus as part of an immune-evasion strategy. Interestingly, miRNA-146a is also significantly up-regulated in several human central nervous system (CNS) disorders. These include Alzheimer's disease (AD) and prion disease where miRNA-146a participates in pro-inflammatory and innate-immune signaling. This opinion paper will comment on some recently clarified roles for the NF-kB-regulated, pro-inflammatory miRNA-146a in viral-induced cellular dysfunction, and how anti-miRNA-146a and/or related therapeutic strategies may be beneficial in the clinical management of a broad spectrum of viral-mediated CNS disease.

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