Protective Effect of Amyloid-β Peptides Against Herpes Simplex Virus-1 Infection in a Neuronal Cell Culture Model - IOS Press

Senile amyloid plaques are one of the main hallmarks of Alzheimer’s disease (AD). They correspond to insoluble deposits of amyloid-β peptides (Aβ) and are responsible for the inflammatory response and neurodegeneration that lead to loss of memory. Recent data suggest that Aβ possess antimicrobial and anti-viral activity in vitro. Here, we have used cocultures of neuroglioma (H4) and glioblastoma (U118-MG) cells as a minimal in vitro model to investigate whether Aβ is produced by neuroglioma cells and whether this could result in protective anti-viral activity against HSV-1 infection. Results showed that H4 cells secreted Aβ 42 in response to HSV-1 challenge and that U118-MG cells could rapidly internalize Aβ 42. Production of pro-inflammatory cytokines TNFα and IL-1β by H4 and U118-MG cells occurred under basal conditions but infection of the cells with HSV-1 did not significantly upregulate production. Both cell lines produced low levels of IFNα. However, extraneous Aβ 42 induced strong production of these cytokines. A combination of Aβ 42 and HSV-1 induced production of pro-inflammatory cytokines TNFα and IL-1β, and IFNα in the cell lines. The reported anti-viral protection of Aβ 42 was revealed in transfer experiments involving conditioned medium (CM) of HSV-1-infected H4 cells. CM conferred Aβ-dependent protection against HSV-1 replication in de novo cultures of H4 cells challenged with HSV-1. Type 1 interferons did not play a role in these assays. Our data established that H4 neuroglioma cells produced Aβ 42 in response to HSV-1 infection thus inhibiting secondary replication. This mechanism may play a role in the etiology of AD.

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