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PLoS One. 2012;7(5):e36435. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0036435. Epub 2012 May 4.

Susceptibility and response of human blood monocyte subsets to primary dengue virus infection.

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Singapore Immunology Network (SIgN), Agency for Science, Technology and Research (ASTAR), Biopolis, Singapore, Singapore.


Human blood monocytes play a central role in dengue infections and form the majority of virus infected cells in the blood. Human blood monocytes are heterogeneous and divided into CD16(-) and CD16(+) subsets. Monocyte subsets play distinct roles during disease, but it is not currently known if monocyte subsets differentially contribute to dengue protection and pathogenesis. Here, we compared the susceptibility and response of the human CD16(-) and CD16(+) blood monocyte subsets to primary dengue virus in vitro. We found that both monocyte subsets were equally susceptible to dengue virus (DENV2 NGC), and capable of supporting the initial production of new infective virus particles. Both monocyte subsets produced anti-viral factors, including IFN-α, CXCL10 and TRAIL. However, CD16(+) monocytes were the major producers of inflammatory cytokines and chemokines in response to dengue virus, including IL-1β, TNF-α, IL-6, CCL2, 3 and 4. The susceptibility of both monocyte subsets to infection was increased after IL-4 treatment, but this increase was more profound for the CD16(+) monocyte subset, particularly at early time points after virus exposure. These findings reveal the differential role that monocyte subsets might play during dengue disease.

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