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Viral-like TLR3 induction of cytokine networks and α-synuclein are reduced by complement C3 blockade in mouse brain

Thomas R, Connolly KJ, Brekk OR, Hinrich AJ, Hastings ML, Isacson O, Hallett PJ
Sci Rep. 2023;13, 15164. doi:10.1038/s41598-023-41240-z
Inflammatory processes and mechanisms are of central importance in neurodegenerative diseases. In the brain, α-synucleinopathies such as Parkinson’s disease (PD) and Lewy body dementia (LBD) show immune cytokine network activation and increased toll like receptor 3 (TLR3) levels for viral double-stranded RNA (dsRNA). Brain inflammatory reactions caused by TLR3 activation are also relevant to understand pathogenic cascades by viral SARS-CoV-2 infection causing post- COVID-19 brain-related syndromes. In the current study, following regional brain TLR3 activation induced by dsRNA in mice, an acute complement C3 response was seen at 2 days. A C3 splice-switching antisense oligonucleotide (ASO) that promotes the splicing of a non-productive C3 mRNA, prevented downstream cytokines, such as IL-6, and α-synuclein changes. This report is the first demonstration that α-synuclein increases occur downstream of complement C3 activation. Relevant to brain dysfunction, post-COVID-19 syndromes and pathological changes leading to PD and LBD, viral dsRNA TLR3 activation in the presence of C3 complement blockade further revealed significant interactions between complement systems, inflammatory cytokine networks and α-synuclein changes.
Not Epub
Organism or Cell Type: 
Delivery Method: 
intracerebroventricular (i.c.v.) infusion, stereotaxic brain injection