Image_2_The P2X7 Receptor 489C>T Gain of Function Polymorphism Favors HHV-6A Infection and Associates With Female Idiopathic Infertility.tif (138.95 kB)
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Image_2_The P2X7 Receptor 489C>T Gain of Function Polymorphism Favors HHV-6A Infection and Associates With Female Idiopathic Infertility.tif

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posted on 21.02.2020, 04:38 by Anna Pegoraro, Daria Bortolotti, Roberto Marci, Elisabetta Caselli, Simonetta Falzoni, Elena De Marchi, Francesco Di Virgilio, Roberta Rizzo, Elena Adinolfi

The P2X7 receptor (P2X7R) is an ATP-gated ion channel known for its proinflammatory activity. Despite its participation in host defense against pathogens, the role played in viral infections, notably those caused by herpes viruses, has been seldom studied. Here we investigated the effect of P2X7R expression on human herpes virus 6 A (HHV-6A) infection of P2X7R-expressing HEK293 cells. We show that functional P2X7R increases while its blockade decreases viral load. Interestingly, HHV-6A infection was enhanced in HEK293 cells transfected with P2X7R cDNA bearing the gain of function 489C>T SNP (rs208294, replacing a histidine for tyrosine at position 155). The P2X7R 489C>T polymorphism correlated with HHV-6A infection also in a cohort of 50 women affected with idiopathic infertility, a condition previously shown to correlate with HHV-6A infection. None of the infertile women infected by HHV-6A was homozygote for 489CC genotype, while on the contrary HHV-6A infection significantly associated with the presence of the rs208294 allele. Levels of soluble human leukocyte antigen G (sHLA-G), a factor promoting embryo implant, measured in uterine flushings negatively correlated with the 489TT genotype and HHV-6A infection, while proinflammatory cytokines interleukins 1α (IL-1α), 1β (IL-1β), and 8 (IL-8) positively correlated with both the 489T allele presence and viral infection. Taken together these data point to the P2X7R as a new therapeutic target to prevent HHV-6A infection and the associated infertility.

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