Background: Pathogenic versus protective outcomes to Dengue virus (DENV) infection are associated with innate immune function. This study aimed to determine the role of increased TLR3- and TLR7/8-mediated innate signaling after Dengue infection of rhesus macaques in vivo to evaluate its impact on disease and anti-DENV immune responses. Methodology/Principal Findings: TLR3 and TLR7/8 agonists (emulsified in Montanide) were administered subcutaneously to rhesus macaques at 48 hours and 7 days after DENV infection. The Frequency and activation of myeloid dendritic cells, plasmacytoid dendritic cells, and B cells were measured by flow cytometry while the serum levels of 14 different cytokines and chemokines were quantified. Adaptive immune responses were measured by DENV-specific antibody subtype measurements. Results showed that the combined TLR agonists reduced viral replication and induced the development of a proinflammatory reaction, otherwise absent in Dengue infection alone, without any clear signs of exacerbated disease. Specifically, the TLR-induced response was characterized by activation changes in mDC subsets concurrent with higher serum levels of CXCL-10 and IL-1Ra. TLR stimulation also induced higher titers of anti-DENV antibodies and acted to increase the IgG2/IgG1 ratio of anti-DENV to favor the subtype associated with DENV control. We also observed an effect of DENV-mediated suppression of mDC activation consistent with prior in vitro studies. Conclusions/Significance: These data show that concurrent TLR3/7/8 activation of the innate immune response after DENV infection in vivo acts to increase antiviral mechanisms via increased inflammatory and humoral responses in rhesus macaques, resulting in decreased viremia and melioration of the infection. These findings underscore an in vivo protective rather than a pathogenic role for combined TLR3/7/8-mediated activation in Dengue infection of rhesus macaques. Our study provides definitive proof-of-concept into the mechanism by which DENV evades immune recognition and activation in vivo.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
- Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)