Dengue virus NS1 cytokine-independent vascular leak is dependent on endothelial glycocalyx components.


Dengue virus (DENV) is the most prevalent, medically important mosquito-borne virus. Disease ranges from uncomplicated dengue to life-threatening disease, characterized by endothelial dysfunction and vascular leakage. Previously, we demonstrated that DENV nonstructural protein 1 (NS1) induces endothelial hyperpermeability in a systemic mouse model and human pulmonary endothelial cells, where NS1 disrupts the endothelial glycocalyx-like layer. NS1 also triggers release of inflammatory cytokines from PBMCs via TLR4. Here, we examined the relative contributions of inflammatory mediators and endothelial cell-intrinsic pathways. In vivo, we demonstrated that DENV NS1 but not the closely-related West Nile virus NS1 triggers localized vascular leak in the dorsal dermis of wild-type C57BL/6 mice. In vitro, we showed that human dermal endothelial cells exposed to DENV NS1 do not produce inflammatory cytokines (TNF-α, IL-6, IL-8) and that blocking these cytokines does not affect DENV NS1-induced endothelial hyperpermeability. Further, we demonstrated that DENV NS1 induces vascular leak in TLR4- or TNF-α receptor-deficient mice at similar levels to wild-type animals. Finally, we blocked DENV NS1-induced vascular leak in vivo using inhibitors targeting molecules involved in glycocalyx disruption. Taken together, these data indicate that DENV NS1-induced endothelial cell-intrinsic vascular leak is independent of inflammatory cytokines but dependent on endothelial glycocalyx components.

MIDAS Network Members