Send to

Choose Destination
J Virol. 2019 Nov 13;93(23). pii: e00664-19. doi: 10.1128/JVI.00664-19. Print 2019 Dec 1.

West Nile Virus Infection Blocks Inflammatory Response and T Cell Costimulatory Capacity of Human Monocyte-Derived Dendritic Cells.

Author information

Department of Pediatrics, Division of Infectious Diseases, Emory University School of Medicine, Atlanta, Georgia, USA.
Emory Vaccine Center, Yerkes National Primate Research Center, Atlanta, Georgia, USA.
Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, Emory University School of Medicine, Atlanta, Georgia, USA.
Department of Pediatrics, Division of Infectious Diseases, Emory University School of Medicine, Atlanta, Georgia, USA
Contributed equally


West Nile virus (WNV) is a neurotropic flavivirus and the leading cause of mosquito-borne encephalitis in the United States. Recent studies in humans have found that dysfunctional T cell responses strongly correlate with development of severe WNV neuroinvasive disease. However, the contributions of human dendritic cells (DCs) in priming WNV-specific T cell immunity remains poorly understood. Here, we demonstrate that human monocyte derived DCs (moDCs) support productive viral replication following infection with a pathogenic strain of WNV. Antiviral effector gene transcription was strongly induced during the log phase of viral growth, while secretion of type I interferons (IFN) occurred with delayed kinetics. Activation of RIG-I like receptor (RLR) or type I IFN signaling prior to log phase viral growth significantly diminished viral replication, suggesting that early activation of antiviral programs can block WNV infection. In contrast to the induction of antiviral responses, WNV infection did not promote transcription or secretion of proinflammatory (interleukin-6 [IL-6], granulocyte-macrophage colony-stimulating factor [GM-CSF], CCL3, CCL5, and CXCL9) or T cell modulatory (IL-4, IL-12, and IL-15) cytokines. There was also minimal induction of molecules associated with antigen presentation and T cell priming, including the costimulatory molecules CD80, CD86, and CD40. Functionally, WNV-infected moDCs dampened allogenic CD4 and CD8 T cell activation and proliferation. Combining these observations, we propose a model whereby WNV subverts human DC activation to compromise priming of WNV-specific T cell immunity.IMPORTANCE West Nile virus (WNV) is an encephalitic flavivirus that remains endemic in the United States. Previous studies have found dysfunctional T cell responses correlate to severe disease outcomes during human WNV infection. Here, we sought to better understand the ability of WNV to program human dendritic cells (DCs) to prime WNV-specific T cell responses. While productive infection of monocyte-derived DCs activated antiviral and type I interferon responses, molecules associated with inflammation and programming of T cells were minimally induced. Functionally, WNV-infected DCs dampened T cell activation and proliferation during an allogeneic response. Combined, our data support a model whereby WNV infection of human DCs compromises WNV-specific T cell immunity.


RIG-I-like receptors; West Nile virus; dendritic cells; type I interferon

[Available on 2020-05-13]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for HighWire
Loading ...
Support Center