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Article Dans Une Revue Microorganisms Année : 2021

Coxsackievirus B4 Transplacental Infection Severely Disturbs Central Tolerogenic Mechanisms in the Fetal Thymus

Résumé

Thymus plays a fundamental role in central tolerance establishment, especially during fetal life, through the generation of self-tolerant T cells. This process consists in T cells education by presenting them tissue-restricted autoantigens promiscuously expressed by thymic epithelial cells (TECs), thus preventing autoimmunity. Thymus infection by Coxsackievirus B (CV-B) during fetal life is supposed to disturb thymic functions and, hence, to be an inducing or accelerating factor in the genesis of autoimmunity. To further investigate this hypothesis, in our current study, we analyzed thymic expression of autoantigens, at the transcriptional and protein level, following in utero infection by CV-B4. mRNA expression levels of Igf2 and Myo7, major autoantigens of pancreas and heart, respectively, were analyzed in whole thymus and in enriched TECs together along with both transcription factors, Aire and Fezf2, involved in autoantigens expression in the thymus. Results show that in utero infection by CV-B4 induces a significant decrease in Igf2 and Myo7 expression at both mRNA and protein level in whole thymus and in enriched TECs as well. Moreover, a correlation between viral load and autoantigens expression can be observed in the whole thymus, indicating a direct effect of in utero infection by CV-B4 on autoantigens expression. Together, these results indicate that an in utero infection of the thymus by CV-B4 may interfere with self-tolerance establishment in TECs by decreasing autoantigen expression at both mRNA and protein level and thereby increase the risk of autoimmunity onset.
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hal-04455027 , version 1 (13-02-2024)

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Aymen Halouani, Hélène Michaux, Habib Jmii, Charlotte Trussart, Ahlem Chahbi, et al.. Coxsackievirus B4 Transplacental Infection Severely Disturbs Central Tolerogenic Mechanisms in the Fetal Thymus. Microorganisms, 2021, Microorganisms, 9, pp.1537. ⟨10.3390/microorganisms9071537⟩. ⟨hal-04455027⟩

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