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MicroRNAs, neurodevelopment and antiviral immune response: how they can be connected?

Grant number: 19/13731-0
Support type:Scholarships abroad - Research Internship - Doctorate
Effective date (Start): November 29, 2019
Effective date (End): November 28, 2020
Field of knowledge:Biological Sciences - Immunology
Principal Investigator:Jean Pierre Schatzmann Peron
Grantee:Carolina Manganeli Polonio
Supervisor abroad: Francisco Javier Quintana
Home Institution: Instituto de Ciências Biomédicas (ICB). Universidade de São Paulo (USP). São Paulo , SP, Brazil
Local de pesquisa : Brigham and Women's Hospital (BWH), United States  
Associated to the scholarship:17/11828-0 - "evaluation of the microRNAs role in the immunopathogenesis of microcephaly caused by Zika Virus in experimental models", BP.DR


Viral infections have always been the cause of serious human diseases, usually increasing rates of morbidity and mortality worldwide. Recently, the flavivirus Zika virus (ZIKV) was introduced in Brazil causing an alarming increase in the number of babies born with microcephaly. The activation of the antiviral immune response is very important in blocking viral replication but also detrimental to the host, especially during disease. The immune response is modulated by several different factors, for example, post-transcriptionally by miRNAs. In addition, the importance of miRNAs during embryonic development is unquestionable. For instance, it has been clearly demonstrated that radial glial proliferation and neuronal and glial differentiation is finely orchestrated by miRNAs. In this context, very little is known about the involvement of miRNAs during ZIKV infection and brain development. In this context, this project intends to contribute to the Ph.D. project (2017/11828-0) whose main goal is to evaluate the role of miRNAs during ZIKV infection. We will evaluate in a more functional way, the possible relevant miRNAs targets, focusing on neurodevelopment and antiviral immune response. This will provide extremely important data not only about the pathogenesis of microcephaly but may also raise possible targets for therapeutic intervention.