Gefitinib and pyrrolidine dithiocarbamate decrease viral replication and cytokine production in dengue virus infected human monocyte cultures

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Abstract

Aims:

The epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) and nucleotide-binding and oligomerization-domain containing 2 (NOD2) are important in cancer and in microbial recognition, respectively. These molecules trigger intracellular signaling pathways inducing the expression of inflammatory genes by NF-kB translocation. Gefitinib (GBTC) and pyrrolidine dithiocarbamate (PDTC) are capable of inhibiting EGFR/NOD2 and NF-kB, respectively. In earlier stages of dengue virus (DENV) infection, monocytes are capable of sustaining viral replication and increasing cytokine production, suggesting that monocyte/macrophages play an important role in early DENV replication. GBTC and PDTC have not been used to modify the pathogenesis of DENV in infected cells. This study was aimed to determine the effect of GBTC and PDTC on viral replication and cytokine production in DENV serotype 2 (DENV2)–infected human monocyte cultures.

Main methods:

GBTC and PDTC were used to inhibit EGFR/NOD2 and NF-kB, respectively. Cytokine production was measured by ELISA and viral replication by plaque forming unit assay.

Key findings:

Increased DENV2 replication and anti-viral cytokine production (IFN-α/β, TNF-α, IL-12 and IL-18) in infected cultures were found. These parameters were decreased after EGFR/NOD2 or NF-kB inhibitions.

Significance:

The inhibitory effects of GBTC and PDTC on viral replication and cytokine production can be beneficial in the treatment of patients infected by dengue and suggest a possible role of EGFR/NOD2 receptors and NF-kB in dengue pathogenesis.

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