Infection of bone marrow cells by dengue virus in vivo

Exp Hematol. 2012 Mar;40(3):250-259.e4. doi: 10.1016/j.exphem.2011.11.011. Epub 2011 Dec 19.


Abnormal bone marrow (BM) suppression is one of the hallmarks of dengue virus (DENV) infection in patients. Although the etiology remains unclear, direct viral targeting of the BM has been reasoned to be a contributing factor. The present studies were carried out in an effort to determine the potential effect of DENV infection on the cellularity of BM using a previously established nonhuman primate model of DENV-induced coagulopathy. BM aspirates were collected at various times from the infected nonhuman primate and cells were phenotypically defined and isolated using standard flow cytometry (fluorescence-activated cell sorting). These isolated cells were subjected to detection of DENV utilizing quantitative real-time reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction, electron microscopy, and immunostaining techniques. DENV RNA was detectable by quantitative real-time reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction in BM specimens and the presence of DENV-like particles within platelet was confirmed by electron microscopy. Enumeration of BM cells revealed a transient surge in cellularity at day 1, followed by a gradual decline from days 2 to 10 post infection. Detailed phenotypic studies showed similar kinetics in the frequencies of CD41(+)CD61(+) cells, regardless of CD34 and CD45 expression. The CD61(+) cells were not only the predominant cells that stained for DENV antigen but fluorescence-activated cell sorting-assisted isolation of CD61(+) cells from the BM were shown to contain infectious DENV by coculture with Vero cells. These data support the view that intravenous infection of nonhuman primate with DENV leads to direct infection of the BM, which is likely to be a contributing factor for transient cell suppression in the peripheral blood characteristic of acute DENV infection.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antigens, CD / analysis
  • Blood Platelets / ultrastructure
  • Blood Platelets / virology
  • Bone Marrow Cells / ultrastructure
  • Bone Marrow Cells / virology*
  • Cell Lineage
  • Chlorocebus aethiops
  • Coculture Techniques
  • Dengue / blood
  • Dengue / pathology
  • Dengue / virology*
  • Dengue Virus / physiology*
  • Dengue Virus / ultrastructure
  • Giant Cells / virology
  • Immunophenotyping
  • Macaca mulatta
  • Megakaryocytes / virology
  • Microscopy, Electron
  • Plasma / virology
  • RNA, Viral / analysis
  • Real-Time Polymerase Chain Reaction
  • Reverse Transcriptase Polymerase Chain Reaction
  • Vero Cells / virology
  • Viral Load
  • Viremia / virology


  • Antigens, CD
  • RNA, Viral