Background: Dendritic cells (DC), present in the skin, are the first target cells of dengue virus (DENV). Dendritic cell-specific intercellular adhesion molecule 3-grabbing non-integrin (DC-SIGN) is present on DC and recognizes N-glycosylation sites on the E-glycoprotein of DENV. Thus, the DC-SIGN/E-glycoprotein interaction can be considered as an important target for inhibitors of viral replication. We evaluated various carbohydrate-binding agents (CBAs) against all four described serotypes of DENV replication in Raji/DC-SIGN(+) cells and in monocyte-derived DC (MDDC).
Methodology/principal findings: A dose-dependent anti-DENV activity of the CBAs Hippeastrum hybrid (HHA), Galanthus nivalis (GNA) and Urtica dioica (UDA), but not actinohivin (AH) was observed against all four DENV serotypes as analyzed by flow cytometry making use of anti-DENV antibodies. Remarkably, the potency of the CBAs against DENV in MDDC cultures was significantly higher (up to 100-fold) than in Raji/DC-SIGN(+) cells. Pradimicin-S (PRM-S), a small-size non-peptidic CBA, exerted antiviral activity in MDDC but not in Raji/DC-SIGN(+) cells. The CBAs act at an early step of DENV infection as they bind to the viral envelope of DENV and subsequently prevent virus attachment. Only weak antiviral activity of the CBAs was detected when administered after the virus attachment step. The CBAs were also able to completely prevent the cellular activation and differentiation process of MDDC induced upon DENV infection.
Conclusions/significance: The CBAs exerted broad spectrum antiviral activity against the four DENV serotypes, laboratory-adapted viruses and low passage clinical isolates, evaluated in Raji/DC-SIGN(+) cells and in primary MDDC.