Expression of Long Non-Coding RNAs by Human Retinal Müller Glial Cells Infected with Clonal and Exotic Virulent Toxoplasma gondii

Elise Rochet, Binoy Appukuttan, Yuefang Ma, Liam Ashander, Justine Smith

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Retinal infection with Toxoplasma gondii-ocular toxoplasmosis-is a common cause of vision impairment worldwide. Pathology combines parasite-induced retinal cell death and reactive intraocular inflammation. Muller glial cells, which represent the supporting cell population of the retina, are relatively susceptible to infection with T. gondii. We investigated expression of long non-coding RNAs (lncRNAs) with immunologic regulatory activity in Muller cells infected with virulent T. gondii strains-GT1 (haplogroup 1, type I) and GPHT (haplogroup 6). We first confirmed expression of 33 lncRNA in primary cell isolates. MIO-M1 human retinal Muller cell monolayers were infected with T. gondii tachyzoites (multiplicity of infection = 5) and harvested at 4, 12, 24, and 36 h post-infection, with infection being tracked by the expression of parasite surface antigen 1 (SAG1). Significant fold-changes were observed for 31 lncRNAs at one or more time intervals. Similar changes between strains were measured for BANCR, CYTOR, FOXD3-AS1, GAS5, GSTT1-AS1, LINC-ROR, LUCAT1, MALAT1, MIR22HG, MIR143HG, PVT1, RMRP, SNHG15, and SOCS2-AS1. Changes di_ering between strains were measured for APTR, FIRRE, HOTAIR, HOXD-AS1, KCNQ1OT1, LINC00968, LINC01105, lnc-SGK1, MEG3, MHRT, MIAT, MIR17HG, MIR155HG, NEAT1, NeST, NRON, and PACER. Our findings suggest roles for lncRNAs in regulating retinal Muller cell immune responses to T. gondii, and encourage future studies on lncRNA as biomarkers and/or drug targets in ocular toxoplasmosis.

Original languageEnglish
Article number48
Number of pages15
JournalNon-coding RNA
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2019

Bibliographical note

©2019 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland. This article is an open access article distributed under the terms and conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution(CC BY) license (


  • Toxoplasma gondii
  • toxoplasmosis
  • human
  • eye
  • retina
  • Müller cells
  • Long non-coding RNAs


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