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Brain Behav Immun. 2018 Jan;67:324-334. doi: 10.1016/j.bbi.2017.09.009. Epub 2017 Sep 18.

Syncytin-1, an endogenous retroviral protein, triggers the activation of CRP via TLR3 signal cascade in glial cells.

Author information

1
Department of Medical Microbiology, School of Medicine, Wuhan University, Wuhan 430071, PR China; Department of Medical Laboratory, Central Hospital of Wuhan, Wuhan 430014, PR China.
2
Department of Psychiatry, Renmin Hospital of Wuhan University, Jiefang Road 238, Wuhan 430060, Hubei, PR China.
3
Department of Global Health Institute, Wuhan University, Wuhan 430071, PR China.
4
Department of Integrated Medicine, Dongfeng Hospital, Hubei University of Medicine, Hubei 442000, PR China.
5
Jiangsu Hengrui Medicine Co., Ltd, No.7 Kunlunshan Road, Lianyungang Eco & Tech Development Zone, Jiangsu Province, Jiangsu 222000, PR China.
6
Department of Medical Microbiology, School of Medicine, Wuhan University, Wuhan 430071, PR China.
7
Department of Neurology, Institution of Neuropsychiatry Research, Renmin Hospital of Wuhan University, Jiefang Road 238, Wuhan 430060, Hubei, PR China.
8
Department of Pathophysiology, School of Medicine, Wuhan University, Wuhan 430071, PR China.
9
Department of Medical Microbiology, School of Medicine, Wuhan University, Wuhan 430071, PR China; Hubei Province Key Laboratory of Allergy and Immunology, Wuhan University, Wuhan 430071, PR China. Electronic address: zhufan@hotmail.com.

Abstract

Schizophrenia is a devastating psychiatric disorder that impacts on social functioning and quality of life, and there is accumulating evidence that inflammation is a potential pathogenic mechanism of schizophrenia. However, the mechanism of inflammation possibly occurred in schizophrenia has not been well understood. The endogenous retroviral protein syncytin-1 and inflammatory marker CRP are both abnormally expressed in schizophrenia patients. CRP is one of the markers of bacterial infection generally. Less clear is whether virus or viral protein can trigger the activation of CRP. Here, we detected a robust increase of the levels of syncytin-1 and CRP in schizophrenia patients, and displayed a positive correlation and marked consistency between expressions of syncytin-1 and CRP in schizophrenia patients. Furthermore, overexpression of syncytin-1 significantly elevated the levels of CRP, TLR3, and IL-6 in both human microglia and astrocytes. TLR3 deficiency impaired the expressions of CRP and IL-6 induced by syncytin-1. Importantly, we observed a cellular co-localization and a direct interaction between syncytin-1 and TLR3. Additionally, knockdown of IL-6 inhibited the syncytin-1-induced CRP expression. Thus, the totality of these results showed that viral protein syncytin-1 could trigger the activation of CRP, which might explain the elevated CRP in sterile inflammation and exhibit a novel mechanism for regulation of inflammation by syncytin-1 in schizophrenia.

KEYWORDS:

Endogenous retroviral protein; Glial cells; Inflammation; Schizophrenia; Syncytin-1

PMID:
28928004
DOI:
10.1016/j.bbi.2017.09.009
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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