Journal of medical virology

Apoptotic mediators in patients with severe and non-severe dengue from Brazil.

PMID 24170344


Despite being the most significant arboviral disease worldwide, dengue has no antiviral treatment or reliable severity predictors. It has been shown that apoptotic cells from blood and tissues may be involved in the complex pathogenesis of dengue. However, very little is known about the interplay between proapoptotic and antiapoptotic mediators in this disease. Therefore, plasma levels of the three proapoptotic mediators Fas ligand (FasL), tumor necrosis factor-α (TNF-α), and TNF-related apoptosis-inducing ligand (TRAIL) were measured in dengue patients. Patients were classified according to the World Health Organization classification of dengue revised in 2009. Additionally, inhibitors of apoptosis protein (IAPs) were determined in plasma (Survivin) and peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) lysates (cIAP-1, cIAP-2, XIAP). Levels of apoptotic proteins in plasma were correlated with counts of blood cells. FasL and TRAIL levels were elevated in dengue patients without warning signs when compared to patients with severe dengue and controls. Dengue patients with warning signs showed decreased levels of Survivin compared to patients with severe dengue and controls. TRAIL was inversely correlated with counts of lymphocyte subsets. In contrast, Survivin was positively correlated with leukocyte counts. There was a trend of elevated IAPs levels in PBMCs of patients with severe dengue. The results suggest a likely antiviral effect of TRAIL in dengue. It appears that TRAIL might be involved with apoptosis induction of lymphocytes, whereas IAPs might participate in protecting leukocytes from apoptosis. Further research is needed to explore the interactions between pro and antiapoptotic molecules and their implications in dengue pathogenesis.