Activation of the innate immune response against denv in normal non-transformed human fibroblasts

José Bustos-Arriaga, Jazmín García-Machorro, Moisés León-Juárez, Julio García-Cordero, Leopoldo Santos-Argumedo, Leopoldo Flores-Romo, A. René Méndez-Cruz, Francisco J. Juárez-Delgado, Leticia Cedillo-Barrón

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Background: When mosquitoes infected with DENV are feeding, the proboscis must traverse the epidermis several times ("probing") before reaching a blood vessel in the dermis. During this process, the salivary glands release the virus, which is likely to interact first with cells of the various epidermal and dermal layers, cells which could be physiologically relevant to DENV infection and replication in humans. However, important questions are whether more abundant non-hematopoietic cells such as fibroblasts become infected, and whether they play any role in antiviral innate immunity in the very early stages of infection, or even if they might be used by DENV as primary replication cells. Methodology/Principal Findings: Fibroblasts freshly released from healthy skin and infected 12 hours after their isolation show a positive signal for DENV. In addition, when primary skin fibroblast cultures were established and subsequently infected, we showed DENV-2 antigen-positive intracellular signal at 24 hours and 48 hours post-infection. Moreover, the fibroblasts showed productive infection in a conventional plaque assay. The skin fibroblasts infected with DENV-2 underwent potent signaling through both TLR3 and RIG- 1, but not Mda5, triggering up-regulation of IFNβ, TNFα, defensin 5 (HB5) and β defensin 2 (HβD2). In addition, DENV infected fibroblasts showed increased nuclear translocation of interferon (IFN) regulatory factor 3 (IRF3), but not interferon regulatory factor 7 (IRF7), when compared with mock-infected fibroblasts. Conclusions/Significance: In this work, we demonstrated the high susceptibility to DENV infection by primary fibroblasts from normal human skin, both in situ and in vitro. Our results suggest that these cells may contribute to the pro-inflammatory and anti-viral microenvironment in the early stages of interaction with DENV-2. Furthermore, the data suggest that fibroblast may also be used as a primary site of DENV replication and provide viral particles that may contribute to subsequent viral dissemination. © 2011 Bustos-Arriaga et al. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.
Original languageAmerican English
JournalPLoS Neglected Tropical Diseases
StatePublished - 1 Dec 2011
Externally publishedYes


Cite this

Bustos-Arriaga, J., García-Machorro, J., León-Juárez, M., García-Cordero, J., Santos-Argumedo, L., Flores-Romo, L., Méndez-Cruz, A. R., Juárez-Delgado, F. J., & Cedillo-Barrón, L. (2011). Activation of the innate immune response against denv in normal non-transformed human fibroblasts. PLoS Neglected Tropical Diseases.