PKR promotes choroidal neovascularization via upregulating the PI3K/Akt signaling pathway in VEGF expression
Viral infection induces various responses in vascular endothelial cells. Polyinosinic-polycytidylic acid (poly IC) is a synthetic double-stranded RNA (dsRNA), and treatment of cells with poly IC mimics the viral infection to the cells. Retinoic acid-inducible gene-I (RIG-I) is a protein belonging to the DExH-box family and designated as a putative RNA helicase. RIG-I is considered to play a role in antiviral responses through the regulation of gene expressions. In the present study, the authors treated human umbilical vein endothelial cells (HUVECs) with poly IC and found that poly IC induced the expression of RIG-I. The poly IC-induced RIG-I expression was inhibited by the preincubation of the cells with 2-aminopurine, an inhibitor of dsRNA-dependent protein kinase (PKR). Immunohistochemical examination revealed high levels of RIG-I immunoreactivity in vascular endothelial cells in the thalamus from rats inoculated with hantavirus. Induction of RIG-I by poly IC may be involved in the antiviral responses in endothelial cells.