• TLR3 is required for survival following Coxsackievirus B3 infection by driving T lymphocyte activation and polarization: The role of dendritic cells.

      Sesti-Costa, Renata; Françozo, Marcela Cristina Santiago; Silva, Grace Kelly; Proenca-Modena, José Luiz; Silva, João Santana; Zentrum für experimentelle und klinische Infektionsforschung GmbH, Feodor-Lynen-Str.7, 30625 Hannover, Germany. (2017)
      Type B coxsackievirus (CVB) is a common cause of acute and chronic myocarditis, meningitis and pancreatitis, often leading to heart failure and pancreatic deficiency. The polarization of CD4+ T lymphocytes and their cytokine milieu are key factors in the outcome of CVB-induced diseases. Thus, sensing the virus and driving the adaptive immune response are essential for the establishment of a protective immune response. TLR3 is a crucial virus recognition receptor that confers the host with resistance to CVB infection. In the current study, we found that TLR3 expression in dendritic cells plays a role in their activation upon CVB3 infection in vitro, as TLR3-deficient dendritic cells up-regulate CD80 and CD86 to a less degree than WT cells. Instead, they up-regulated the inhibitory molecule PD-L1 and secreted considerably lower levels of TNF-α and IL-10 and a higher level of IL-23. T lymphocyte proliferation in co-culture with CVB3-infected dendritic cells was increased by TLR3-expressing DCs and other cells. Furthermore, in the absence of TLR3, the T lymphocyte response was shifted toward a Th17 profile, which was previously reported to be deleterious for the host. TLR3-deficient mice were very susceptible to CVB3 infection, with increased pancreatic injury and extensive inflammatory infiltrate in the heart that was associated with uncontrolled viral replication. Adoptive transfer of TLR3+ dendritic cells slightly improved the survival of TLR-deficient mice following CVB3 infection. Therefore, our findings highlight the importance of TLR3 signaling in DCs and in other cells to induce activation and polarization of the CD4+ T lymphocyte response toward a Th1 profile and consequently for a better outcome of CVB3 infection. These data provide new insight into the immune-mediated mechanisms by which CVBs are recognized and cleared in order to prevent the development of myocarditis and pancreatitis and may contribute to the design of therapies for enteroviral infections.