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Biomed Res Int. 2013;2013:973516. doi: 10.1155/2013/973516. Epub 2013 Aug 28.

Molecular mechanisms involved in the pathogenesis of alphavirus-induced arthritis.

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Departamento de Virologia, Instituto de Microbiologia Professor Paulo de Góes, Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro, 21941-902 Rio de Janeiro, RJ, Brazil.


Arthritogenic alphaviruses, including Ross River virus (RRV), Chikungunya virus (CHIKV), Sindbis virus (SINV), Mayaro virus (MAYV), O'nyong-nyong virus (ONNV), and Barmah Forest virus (BFV), cause incapacitating and long lasting articular disease/myalgia. Outbreaks of viral arthritis and the global distribution of these diseases point to the emergence of arthritogenic alphaviruses as an important public health problem. This review discusses the molecular mechanisms involved in alphavirus-induced arthritis, exploring the recent data obtained with in vitro systems and in vivo studies using animal models and samples from patients. The factors associated to the extension and persistence of symptoms are highlighted, focusing on (a) virus replication in target cells, and tissues, including macrophages and muscle cells; (b) the inflammatory and immune responses with recruitment and activation of macrophage, NK cells and T lymphocytes to the lesion focus and the increase of inflammatory mediators levels; and (c) the persistence of virus or viral products in joint and muscle tissues. We also discuss the importance of the establishment of novel animal models to test new molecular targets and to develop more efficient and selective drugs to treat these diseases.

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