Send to

Choose Destination
J Infect Dis. 2014 Sep 15;210(6):875-89. doi: 10.1093/infdis/jiu179. Epub 2014 Mar 20.

Etanercept reduces neuroinflammation and lethality in mouse model of Japanese encephalitis.

Author information

State Key Laboratory of Agricultural Microbiology, Huazhong Agricultural University College of Veterinary Medicine, Huazhong Agricultural University, Wuhan, Hubei, P.R China.



Japanese encephalitis virus (JEV) is a neurotropic flavivirus that causes Japanese encephalitis (JE), which leads to high fatality rates in human. Tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNF-α) is a key factor that mediates immunopathology in the central nervous system (CNS) during JE. Etanercept is a safe anti-TNF-α drug that has been commonly used in the treatment of various human autoimmune diseases.


The effect of etanercept on JE was investigated with a JEV-infected mouse model. Four groups of mice were assigned to receive injections of phosphate-buffered saline, etanercept, JEV, or JEV plus etanercept. Inflammatory responses in mouse brains and mortality of mice were evaluated within 23 days post infection.


The in vitro assay with mouse neuron/glia cultures showed that etanercept treatment reduced the inflammatory response induced by JEV infection. In vivo experiments further demonstrated that administration of etanercept protected mice from JEV-induced lethality. Neuronal damage, glial activation, and secretion of proinflammatory cytokines were found to be markedly decreased in JEV-infected mice that received etanercept treatment. Additionally, etanercept treatment restored the integrity of the blood-brain barrier and reduced viral load in mouse brains.


Etanercept effectively reduces the inflammation and provides protection against acute encephalitis in a JEV-infected mouse model.


Japanese encephalitis virus; TNF-α; etanercept; inflammation; viral encephalitis

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Silverchair Information Systems
Loading ...
Support Center