Dengue infection causes dengue fever (DF) and dengue hemorrhagic fever/dengue shock syndrome (DHF/DSS). CD4 Foxp3 Tregs are expanded in patients during dengue infection, and appear to be associated with clinical severity. However, molecular pathways involved in Treg proliferation and the reason for their insufficient control of severe diseases are poorly understood. Here, dengue infection induced the proliferation of functional CD4 Foxp3 Tregs via TLR2/MyD88 pathway. Surface TLR2 on Tregs was responsible for their proliferation, and dengue-expanded Tregs subverted in vivo differentiation of effector CD8 T cells. Additional interesting finding was that dengue-infected hosts displayed changed levels of susceptibility to other diseases in TLR2-dependent manner. This change included enhanced susceptibility to tumors and bacterial infection, but highly enhanced resistance to viral infection. Further, transfer of dengue-proliferated Tregs protected the recipients from dengue-induced DHF/DSS and LPS-induced sepsis. In contrast, dengue-infected hosts were more susceptible to sepsis, an effect attributable to early TLR2-dependent production of proinflammatory cytokines. These facts may explain the reason why in some patients, dengue-proliferated Tregs is insufficient to control DF and DHF/DSS. Also, our observations lead to new insights into Treg responses activated by dengue infection in a TLR2-dependent manner, which could differentially act on subsequent exposure to other disease-producing situations. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.
This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.