Dengue virus infects human endothelial cells and induces IL-6 and IL-8 production.

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  • 1 Department of Microbiology and Immunology, College of Medicine, National Cheng Kung University, Tainan, Taiwan, Republic of China.

In this study dengue virus (DV) was found to infect primary endothelial cells derived from human umbilical cord veins (HUVEC) and alter their cytokine production. Dengue virus infection of HUVEC was confirmed by an increase in plaque-forming units in the culture supernatant and by immunofluorescence assay. HUVEC produced large amounts of interleukin (IL)-6 and IL-8 but not IL-1beta after DV infection. Both the replication of DV and the production of IL-6 and IL-8 by HUVEC after DV infection were inhibited by ribavirin, an antiviral synthetic guanosine analogue. Additionally, increased serum levels of IL-6 and IL-8 were observed in patients with dengue hemorrhagic fever but not dengue fever. Therefore, our results suggest that endothelial cells can be a target for DV infection, and that DV-induced IL-6 and IL-8 production by endothelial cells may contribute to the pathogenesis of dengue hemorrhagic fever.