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Virologica Sinica, 32 (5) : 423, 2017
Research Article
Elevated expression of EBV and TLRs in the brain is associated with Rasmussen’s encephalitis
1. Department of Microbiology, School of Basic Medical Sciences, Capital Medical University, Beijing 100069, China
2. Department of Neurosurgery, Sanbo Brain Hospital, Capital Medical University, Beijing 100093, China
3. Beijing Key Laboratory of Epilepsy, Beijing 100093, China
4. Center of Epilepsy, Beijing Institute for Brain Disorders, Beijing 100093, China
 Correspondence: luangm3@163.com;anjing@ccmu.edu.cn
Rasmussen’s encephalitis (RE) is a rare pediatric neurological disorder, the etiology of which remains unclear. It has been speculated that the immunopathogenesis of RE involves damage to neurons, which eventually leads to the occurrence of RE. Viral infection may be a critical factor in triggering RE immunopathogenesis. In this study, we analyzed the expression of Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) antigens as well as of Toll-like receptor 3 (TLR3), TLR9, and downstream adapter TIRdomain-containing adapter-inducing interferon-β (TRIF) in the brain tissues of 26 patients with RE and 16 control individuals using immunohistochemistry (IHC). In the RE group, EBV antigens were detected in 53% of individuals at various expression levels. In contrast, there was no detectable EBV antigen expression in control brain tissues. Moreover, we found marked increases in the expression of TLR3, TLR9, and TRIF in the brain tissues of RE patients compared with levels in the control group. Furthermore, among RE cases, EBV expression and high TLR3 expression were associated with more severe brain atrophy. Our results suggest that the elevated expression of EBV and TLRs may be involved in RE occurrence through the activation of downstream molecules.
Received: 26 Jul 2017  Accepted: 30 Sep 2017  Published online: 30 Oct 2017
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