Molecular responses of human retinal cells to infection with Dengue Virus

Jillian Carr, Liam Ashander, Julie Calvert, Yuefang Ma, Amanda Aloia, Gustavo Bracho, Soon-Phaik Chee, Binoy Appukuttan, Justine Smith

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    10 Citations (Scopus)
    10 Downloads (Pure)


    Recent clinical reports indicate that infection with dengue virus (DENV) commonly has ocular manifestations. The most serious threat to vision is dengue retinopathy, including retinal vasculopathy and macular edema. Mechanisms of retinopathy are unstudied, but observations in patients implicate retinal pigment epithelial cells and retinal endothelial cells. Human retinal cells were inoculated with DENV-2 and monitored for up to 72 hours. Epithelial and endothelial cells supported DENV replication and release, but epithelial cells alone demonstrated clear cytopathic effect, and infection was more productive in those cells. Infection induced type I interferon responses from both cells, but this was stronger in epithelial cells. Endothelial cells increased expression of adhesion molecules, with sustained overexpression of vascular adhesion molecule-1. Transcellular impedance decreased for epithelial monolayers, but not endothelial monolayers, coinciding with cytopathic effect. This reduction was accompanied by disorganization of intracellular filamentous-actin and decreased expression of junctional molecules, zonula occludens 1, and catenin-β1. Changes in endothelial expression of adhesion molecules are consistent with the retinal vasculopathy seen in patients infected with DENV; decreases in epithelial junctional protein expression, paralleling loss of integrity of the epithelium, provide a molecular basis for DENV-associated macular edema. These molecular processes present potential therapeutic targets for vision-threatening dengue retinopathy.

    Original languageEnglish
    Article number3164375
    Number of pages16
    JournalMediators of Inflammation
    Publication statusPublished - 2017

    Bibliographical note

    This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License,which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


    • dengue virus
    • ocular
    • engue retinopathy
    • etinal vasculopathy
    • macular edema


    Dive into the research topics of 'Molecular responses of human retinal cells to infection with Dengue Virus'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

    Cite this