Publications & Posters

Mitochondrial-Directed Antioxidant Reduces Microglial-Induced Inflammation in Murine In Vitro Model of TC-83 Infection

Keck F, Khan D, Roberts B, Agrawal N, Bhalla N and Narayanan A

Viruses. 2018 Nov 2;10(11):606



Venezuelan equine encephalitis virus (VEEV) is an arbovirus that is associated with robust inflammation that contributes to neurodegenerative phenotypes. In addition to triggering central nervous system (CNS) inflammation, VEEV will also induce mitochondrial dysfunction, resulting in increased cellular apoptosis. In this study, we utilize the TC-83 strain of VEEV to determine the role of mitochondrial oxidative stress in mediating inflammation elicited by murine brain microglial cells. Using an in vitro model, we show that murine microglia are susceptible to TC-83 infection, and that these cells undergo mitochondrial stress as the result of infection. We also indicate that bystander microglia contribute more significantly to the overall inflammatory load than directly infected microglia. Use of a mitochondrial targeted antioxidant, mitoquinone mesylate, greatly reduced the pro-inflammatory cytokines released by both direct infected and bystander microglia. Our data suggest that release of interleukin-1β, a key instigator of neuroinflammation during VEEV infection, may be the direct result of accumulating mitochondrial stress. This data improves our understanding inflammation elicited by murine microglia and will aid in the development of more accurate in vitro and in vivo murine model of VEEV-induced neuroinflammation.