Suppressors of cytokine signaling (SOCS) proteins are a family of proteins that are able to act in a classic negative feedback loop to regulate cytokine signal transduction. The regulation of the immune response by SOCS proteins may contribute to persistent infection or even a fatal outcome. In this study, we have investigated the induction of SOCS 1-3 after peripheral infection with West Nile virus (WNV) or tick-borne encephalitis virus (TBEV) in the murine model. We have shown that the cytokine response after infection of mice with WNV or TBEV induces an upregulation in the brain of mRNA transcripts for SOCS 1 and SOCS 3, but not SOCS 2. We hypothesize that SOCS proteins may play a role in limiting cytokine responses in the brain as a neuroprotective mechanism, which may actually enhance the ability of neuroinvasive viruses such as WNV and TBEV to spread and cause disease.
Mansfield, K. L., Johnson, N., Cosby, S. L., Solomon, T., & Fooks, A. R. (2010). Transcriptional upregulation of SOCS 1 and suppressors of cytokine signaling 3 mRNA in the absence of suppressors of cytokine signaling 2 mRNA after infection with West Nile virus or tick-borne encephalitis virus. Vector Borne & Zoonotic Diseases, 10(7), 649-653. https://doi.org/10.1089/vbz.2009.0259