Articles written in Journal of Biosciences

    • Epigenetic modulation of host: new insights into immune evasion by viruse

      Dwaipayan Adhya Anirban Basu

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      Viruses have evolved with their hosts, which include all living species. This has been partly responsible for the development of highly advanced immune systems in the hosts. However, viruses too have evolved ways to regulate and evade the host’s immune defence. In addition to mutational mechanisms that viruses employ to mimic the host genome and undergo latency to evade the host’s recognition of the pathogen, they have also developed epigenetic mechanisms by which they can render the host’s immune responses inactive to their antigens. The epigenetic regulation of gene expression is intrinsically active inside the host and is involved in regulating gene expression and cellular differentiation. Viral immune evasion strategies are an area of major concern in modern biomedical research. Immune evasion strategies may involve interference with the host antigen presentation machinery or host immune gene expression capabilities, and viruses, in these manners, introduce and propagate infection. The aim of this review is to elucidate the various epigenetic changes that viruses are capable of bringing about in their host in order to enhance their own survivability and pathogenesis.

    • Atorvastatin ameliorates viral burden and neural stem/ progenitor cell (NSPC) death in an experimental model of Japanese encephalitis


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      Japanese encephalitis virus, a neurotropic flavivirus, causes sporadic encephalitis with nearly 25% fatal casereports. JEV infects neural stem/progenitor cells (NSPCs) and decreases their proliferation. Statin, a commonlyused class of cholesterol lowering drug, has been shown to possess potent anti-inflammatory and neuroprotectiveeffects in acute brain injury and chronic neurodegenerative conditions. Here, we aimed to check theefficacy of atorvastatin in alleviating the symptoms of Japanese encephalitis (JE). Using BALB/c mouse modelof JEV infection, we observed that atorvastatin effectively reduces viral load in the subventricular zone (SVZ)of infected pups and decreases the resultant cell death. Furthermore, atorvastatin abrogates microglial activationand production of proinflammatory cyto/chemokine production post JEV infection in vivo. It alsoreduced interferon-beta response in the neurogenic environs. The neuroprotective role of atorvastatin is againevident from the rescued neurosphere size and decreased cell death in vitro. It has also been observed that uponatorvastatin administration, cell cycle regulatory proteins and cell survival proteins are also restored to theirrespective expression level as observed in uninfected animals. Thus the antiviral, immunomodulatory andneuroprotective roles of atorvastatin reflect in our experimental observations. Therefore, this drug broadens apath for future therapeutic measures against JEV infection.

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