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IntroductionDengue virus (DENV) NS1 is a non-structural secretory protein associated with severe disease and known to cause vascular leak leading to dengue haemorrhagic fever (DHF). As phospholipases A2 (PLA2) enzymes, platelet activating factor, and leukotrienes are elevated in dengue, we sought to investigate whether NS1 potentially contributes to disease pathogenesis by inducing PLA2s.MethodsTHP-1 cells and primary human monocytes of healthy adults (n = 6) were co-cultured with DENV1 NS1, LPS and media alone. The latter two were used as positive and negative controls. The cell culture supernatants and lysates were harvested at 12 and 24 h and the activity of secretory and cytoplasmic PLA2, prostaglandins (PGE2 and PGD2) were measured by ELISA and cytokines levels were measured using a magnetic Luminex assay. Expression of PLA2G4A, PLA2G2A, PLA2G5, PLA2G10, PLA2G7, GAPDH, NLRP3 and DDX58 genes were assessed using quantitative RT-PCR.ResultscPLA2 (p = 0.005), sPLA2 (p = 0.04), PGE2 metabolite (p = 0.02) and PGD2 metabolite (p = 0.04) levels were significantly higher at 12 h in monocytes co-cultured with NS1. Levels of IP-10 (p = 0.005) and IL-10 (p = 0.009) was significantly higher at 24 h, whereas IFNα level was significantly higher (p = 0.013) only at 12 h. IL-1β (p = 0.028 and p = 0.031) and TNFα (p = 0.007 and p = 0.011) showed significantly higher levels at both time points. At 12 h significant upregulation of PLA2G4A (p ConclusionDengue NS1 induces the production of PLA2 enzymes, prostaglandins and inflammatory cytokines from primary human monocytes, which could play a role in vascular leak in dengue.

Original publication




Journal article


Antiviral research

Publication Date





Allergy Immunology and Cell Biology Unit, Department of Immunology and Molecular Medicine, University of Sri Jayewardenepura, Nugegoda, Sri Lanka; General Sir John Kotelawala Defence University, Rathmalana, Sri Lanka.


Monocytes, Humans, Dengue Virus, Dengue, Prostaglandins, Prostaglandins E, Viral Nonstructural Proteins, Cytokines, Adult, Phospholipases A2, NLR Family, Pyrin Domain-Containing 3 Protein