Dengue virus (DENV) is transmitted by the Aedes mosquito family, and is a leading cause of illness and death in the tropics, with an estimated 390 million infections annually. It is the causative agent of Dengue Hemorrhagic Fever (DHF), which is characterized by flu-like symptoms and severe arthralgia, and can be fatal, especially in children. Currently, there is no treatment for DENV or DHF, despite the prevalence and potential severity of the infection. While the link between DENV infection and arthralgia has been well established, the pro-inflammatory mechanism of the virus has not yet been examined in human cartilage. This study aims to characterize the pro-inflammatory response of normal human articular chondrocytes (NHACs) to DENV infection in order to better understand the severe arthralgia associated with DENV-induced inflammation. NHACs were cultured with DENV-2-derived surface envelope protein (sE), non-structural protein 1 (NS1), BSA, or serum-free media alone, at a range of concentrations, over a short time course of one to six hours. It was hypothesized that the presence of the viral proteins would induce a pro-inflammatory response, as measured by quantitative Real-Time PCR. While the Dengue sE protein did not induce a significant response in the NHACs, Dengue NS1 protein induced the production of pro-inflammatory cytokines in a response that appeared to be dose-dependent. Future investigations will include protein quantification studies for select cytokines to confirm the protein level patterns. Statistical analyses will be done by t-test using mean value comparisons, assuming equal variances with a p-value of 0.05, and ANOVA analysis.

Additional Abstract Information

Student(s): Taylor H. Derby, Victoria M. Callahan

Department: Biology

Faculty Advisor: Dr. Marta K. Bechtel

Type: Poster

Year: 2017

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