An In Vivo Model of Echovirus-Induced Meningitis Defines the Differential Roles of Type I and Type III Interferon Signaling in Central Nervous System Infection.

Journal Article (Journal Article)

Echoviruses are among the most common worldwide causes of aseptic meningitis, which can cause long-term sequelae and death, particularly in neonates. However, the mechanisms by which these viruses induce meningeal inflammation are poorly understood, owing at least in part to the lack of in vivo models that recapitulate this aspect of echovirus pathogenesis. Here, we developed an in vivo neonatal mouse model that recapitulates key aspects of echovirus-induced meningitis. We show that expression of the human homologue of the primary echovirus receptor, the neonatal Fc receptor (FcRn), is not sufficient for infection of the brains of neonatal mice. However, ablation of type I, but not III, interferon (IFN) signaling in mice expressing human FcRn permitted high levels of echovirus replication in the brain, with corresponding clinical symptoms, including delayed motor skills and hind-limb weakness. Using this model, we defined the immunological response of the brain to echovirus infection and identified key cytokines, such as granulocyte colony-stimulating factor (G-CSF) and interleukin 6 (IL-6), that were induced by this infection. Lastly, we showed that echoviruses specifically replicate in the leptomeninges, where they induce profound inflammation and cell death. Together, this work establishes an in vivo model of aseptic meningitis associated with echovirus infections that delineates the differential roles of type I and type III IFNs in echovirus-associated neuronal disease and defines the specificity of echoviral infections within the meninges. IMPORTANCE Echoviruses are among the most common worldwide causes of aseptic meningitis, which can cause long-term sequelae or even death. The mechanisms by which echoviruses infect the brain are poorly understood, largely owing to the lack of robust in vivo models that recapitulate this aspect of echovirus pathogenesis. Here, we establish a neonatal mouse model of echovirus-induced aseptic meningitis and show that expression of the human homologue of the FcRn, the primary receptor for echoviruses, and ablation of type I IFN signaling are required to recapitulate echovirus-induced meningitis and clinical disease. These findings provide key insights into the host factors that control echovirus-induced meningitis and a model that could be used to test anti-echovirus therapeutics.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Wells, AI; Coyne, CB

Published Date

  • July 13, 2022

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 96 / 13

Start / End Page

  • e0033022 -

PubMed ID

  • 35699446

Pubmed Central ID

  • PMC9278148

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1098-5514

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1128/jvi.00330-22

Language

  • eng

Conference Location

  • United States