Anti-TNF-α restricts dengue virus-induced neuropathy

Ming Kai Jhan, Wei Chun Huangfu, Yi Fan Chen, Jo Chi Kao, Tsung Ting Tsai, Min Ru Ho, Ting Jing Shen, Po Chun Tseng, Yung Ting Wang, Chiou Feng Lin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Citations (Scopus)


Proinflammatory TNF-α facilitates dengue virus (DENV) infection in endovascular dysfunction and neurotoxicity. The introduction of TNF-α blocking therapy with Abs is performed to test its therapeutic effect in this study. In DENV-infected mice, TNF-α production in the brain accompanied the progression of neurotoxicity and encephalitis. DENV infection caused the loss of hippocampal neurons with TNF-α expression around damaged regions, and immunostaining showed the induction of apoptosis in hippocampal neurons. TNF-α was expressed in active microglia and astrocytes in DENV-infected mice. TNF-α facilitated DENV-induced neurotoxicity in vitro in murine Neuro-2a cells. Using a currently established encephalitic mouse model in which DENV infection causes progressive hunchback posture, limbic seizures, limbic weakness, paralysis, and lethality 7 days postinfection, we showed that TNF-α transgenic mice represented the progressive disease development and administration of neutralizing TNF-α Ab reduced dengue encephalitis and mortality. These results demonstrate an immunopathogenesis of TNF-α for mediating DENV-induced encephalitis-associated neurotoxicity and that targeting TNF-α can be used as a strategy against dengue encephalitis.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)961-968
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Leukocyte Biology
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2018


  • Dengue virus
  • Encephalitis
  • Infection
  • Mice
  • Neurotoxicity
  • TNF-α

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology
  • Cell Biology


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