Background: Japanese Encephalitis virus (JEV) is a common cause of acute and epidemic viral encephalitis. JEV infection is associated with microglial activation resulting in the production of pro-inflammatory cytokines including Interleukin-1 β (IL-1β) and Interleukin-18 (IL-18). The Pattern Recognition Receptors (PRRs) and the underlying mechanism by which microglia identify the viral particle leading to the production of these cytokines is unknown. Methodology/Principal Findings: For our studies, we have used murine model of JEV infection as well as BV-2 mouse microglia cell line. In this study, we have identified a signalling pathway which leads to the activation of caspase-1 as the key enzyme responsible for the maturation of both IL-1β and IL-18 in NACHT, LRR and PYD domains-containing protein-3 (NLRP3) dependent manner. Depletion of NLRP3 results in the reduction of caspase-1 activity and subsequent production of these cytokines. Conclusion/Significance: Our results identify a mechanism mediated by Reactive Oxygen Species (ROS) production and potassium efflux as the two danger signals that link JEV infection to caspase-1 activation resulting in subsequent IL-1β and IL-18 maturation. © 2012 Kaushik et al.
Kaushik, D. K., Gupta, M., Kumawat, K. L., & Basu, A. (2012). Nlrp3 inflammasome: Key mediator of neuroinflammation in murine japanese encephalitis. PLoS ONE, 7(2). https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0032270