Production of IL-8, IL-17, IFN-gamma and IP-10 in human astrocytes correlates with alphavirus attenuation

Bi Hung Peng, Viktoriya Borisevich, Vsevolod L. Popov, Michele A. Zacks, D. Mark Estes, Gerald A. Campbell, Slobodan Paessler

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


Venezuelan equine encephalitis virus (VEEV) is an important, naturally emerging zoonotic pathogen. Recent outbreaks in Venezuela and Colombia in 1995 indicate that VEEV still poses a serious public health threat. Astrocytes may be target cells in human and mouse infection and they play an important role in repair through gliosis. In this study, we report that virulent VEEV efficiently infects cultured normal human astrocytes, three different murine astrocyte cell lines and astrocytes in the mouse brain. The attenuation of virus replication positively correlates with the increased levels of production of IL-8, IL-17, IFN-gamma and IP-10. In addition, VEEV infection induces release of basic fibroblast growth factor and production of potent chemokines such as RANTES and MIP-1-beta from cultured human astrocytes. This growth factor and cytokine profile modeled by astrocytes in vitro may contribute to both neuroprotection and repair and may play a role in leukocyte recruitment in vivo.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)223-234
Number of pages12
JournalVeterinary Microbiology
Issue number3-4
StatePublished - May 3 2013


  • Alphavirus pathogenesis
  • Equine encephalitis
  • Viral encephalitis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Microbiology
  • General Veterinary


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