Novel Lesions of Bones and Joints Associated with Chikungunya Virus Infection in Two Mouse Models of Disease: New Insights into Disease Pathogenesis.


Chikungunya virus is an arbovirus spread predominantly by Aedes aegypti and Ae. albopictus mosquitoes, and causes debilitating arthralgia and arthritis. While these are common manifestations during acute infection and it has been suggested they can recur in patients chronically, gaps in knowledge regarding the pathogenesis still exist. Two established mouse models were utilized (adult IRF 3/7 -/- -/- and wild-type C57BL/6J mice) to evaluate disease manifestations in bones and joints at various timepoints. Novel lesions in C57BL/6J mice consisted of periostitis (91%) and foci of cartilage of necrosis (50% of mice at 21 DPI). Additionally, at 21 DPI, 50% and 75% of mice exhibited periosteal bone proliferation affecting the metatarsal bones, apparent via histology and μCT, respectively. μCT analysis did not reveal any alterations in trabecular bone volume measurements in C57BL/6J mice. Novel lesions demonstrated in IRF 3/7 -/- -/- mice at 5 DPI included focal regions of cartilage necrosis (20%), periosteal necrosis (66%), and multifocal ischemic bone marrow necrosis (100%). Contralateral feet in 100% of mice of both strains had similar, though milder lesions. Additionally, comparison of control IRF 3/7 -/- -/- and wild-type C57BL/6J mice demonstrated differences in cortical bone. These experiments demonstrate novel manifestations of disease similar to those occurring in humans, adding insight into disease pathogenesis, and representing new potential targets for therapeutic interventions. Additionally, results demonstrate the utility of μCT in studies of bone and joint pathology and illustrate differences in bone dynamics between mouse strains.

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