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J Immunol. 2011 Feb 15;186(4):2561-70. doi: 10.4049/jimmunol.1002029. Epub 2011 Jan 14.

TRIF is a critical survival factor in viral cardiomyopathy.

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  • 1Department of Cardiology and Pulmology, University of Griefswald, 17475 Greifswald, Germany.


TRIF is a member of the innate immune system known to be involved in viral recognition and type I IFN activation. Because IFNs are thought to play an important role in viral myocarditis, we investigated the role of TRIF in induced myocarditis in mice. Whereas C57BL/6 (wild-type) mice showed only mild myocarditis, including normal survival postinfection with coxsackievirus group B serotype 3 (CVB3), infection of TRIF(-/-) mice led to the induction of cardiac remodeling, severe heart failure, and 100% mortality (p < 0.0001). These mice showed markedly reduced virus control in cardiac tissues and cardiomyocytes. This was accompained with dynamic cardiac cytokine activation in the heart, including a suppression of the antiviral cytokine IFN-β in the early viremic phase. TRIF(-/-) myocytes displayed a TLR4-dependent suppression of IFN-β, and pharmacological treatment of CVB3-infected TRIF(-/-) mice with murine IFN-β led to improved virus control and reduced cardiac inflammation. Additionally, this treatment within the viremic phase of myocarditis showed a significant long-term outcome indexed by reduced mortality (20 versus 100%; p < 0.001). TRIF is essential toward a cardioprotection against CVB3 infection.

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