1PLoS ONE 2010 -1 5: -1
TitleQKI-7 regulates expression of interferon-related genes in human astrocyte glioma cells.
AbstractThe human QKI gene, called quaking homolog, KH domain RNA binding (mouse), is a candidate gene for schizophrenia encoding an RNA-binding protein. This gene was shown to be essential for myelination in oligodendrocytes. QKI is also highly expressed in astrocytes, but its function in these cells is not known.
We studied the effect of small interference RNA (siRNA)-mediated QKI depletion on global gene expression in human astrocyte glioma cells. Microarray measurements were confirmed with real-time quantitative polymerase chain reaction (qPCR). The presence of QKI binding sites (QRE) was assessed by a bioinformatic approach. Viability and cell morphology were also studied. The most significant alteration after QKI silencing was the decreased expression of genes involved in interferon (IFN) induction (P = 6.3E-10), including IFIT1, IFIT2, MX1, MX2, G1P2, G1P3, GBP1 and IFIH1. All eight genes were down-regulated after silencing of the splice variant QKI-7, but were not affected by QKI-5 silencing. Interestingly, four of them were up-regulated after treatment with the antipsychotic agent haloperidol that also resulted in increased QKI-7 mRNA levels.
The coordinated expression of QKI-7 splice variant and IFN-related genes supports the idea that this particular splice variant has specific functions in astrocytes. Furthermore, a role of QKI-7 as a regulator of an inflammatory gene pathway in astrocytes is suggested. This hypothesis is well in line with growing experimental evidence on the role of inflammatory components in schizophrenia.
SCZ Keywordsschizophrenia
2Neurochem. Int. 2014 Jan 64: 55-63
TitleAlpha-lipoic acid effects on brain glial functions accompanying double-stranded RNA antiviral and inflammatory signaling.
AbstractDouble-stranded RNAs (dsRNA) serve as viral ligands that trigger innate immunity in astrocytes and microglial, as mediated through Toll-like receptor 3 (TLR3) and dsRNA-dependent protein kinase (PKR). Beneficial transient TLR3 and PKR anti-viral signaling can become deleterious when events devolve into inflammation and cytotoxicity. Viral products in the brain cause glial cell dysfunction, and are a putative etiologic factor in neuropsychiatric disorders, notably schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, Parkinson's, and autism spectrum. Alpha-lipoic acid (LA) has been proposed as a possible therapeutic neuroprotectant. The objective of this study was to test our hypothesis that LA can control untoward antiviral mechanisms associated with neural dysfunction. Utilizing rat brain glial cultures (91% astrocytes:9% microglia) treated with PKR- and TLR3-ligand/viral mimetic dsRNA, polyinosinic-polycytidylic acid (polyI:C), we report in vitro glial antiviral signaling and LA reduction of the effects of this signaling. LA blunted the dsRNA-stimulated expression of IFN?/?-inducible genes MX1, PKR, and TLR3. And in polyI:C treated cells, LA promoted gene expression of rate-limiting steps that benefit healthy neural redox status in glutamateric systems. To this end, LA decreased dsRNA-induced inflammatory signaling by downregulating IL-1?, IL-6, TNF?, iNOS, and CAT2 transcripts. In the presence of polyI:C, LA prevented cultured glial cytotoxicity which was correlated with increased expression of factors known to cooperatively control glutamate/cystine/glutathione redox cycling, namely glutamate uptake transporter GLAST/EAAT1, ?-glutamyl cysteine ligase catalytic and regulatory subunits, and IL-10. Glutamate exporting transporter subunits 4F2hc and xCT were downregulated by LA in dsRNA-stimulated glia. l-Glutamate net uptake was inhibited by dsRNA, and this was relieved by LA. Glutathione synthetase mRNA levels were unchanged by dsRNA or LA. This study demonstrates the protective effects of LA in astroglial/microglial cultures, and suggests the potential for LA efficacy in virus-induced CNS pathologies, with the caveat that antiviral benefits are concomitantly blunted. It is concluded that LA averts key aspects of TLR3- and PKR-provoked glial dysfunction, and provides rationale for exploring LA in whole animal and human clinical studies to blunt or avert neuropsychiatric disorders.
SCZ Keywordsschizophrenia