Plasmacytoid Dendritic Cells Control Dengue And Chikungunya Virus Infections Via IRF7-Regulated Interferon Responses
Webster B, Werneke SW, Zafirova B, This S, Coléon S, Décembre E, Paidassi H, Bouvier I, Joubert P-E, Duffy D, Walzer T, Albert ML and Dreux M
Type I interferon (IFN-I) responses are critical for the control of RNA virus infections, however, many viruses, including Dengue (DENV) and Chikungunya (CHIKV) virus, do not directly activate plasmacytoid dendritic cells (pDCs), robust IFN-I producing cells. Herein, we demonstrated that DENV and CHIKV infected cells are sensed by pDCs, indirectly, resulting in selective IRF7 activation and IFN-I production, in the absence of other inflammatory cytokine responses. To elucidate pDC immunomodulatory functions, we developed a mouse model in which IRF7 signaling is restricted to pDC. Despite undetectable levels of IFN-I protein, pDC-restricted IRF7 signaling controlled both viruses and was sufficient to protect mice from lethal CHIKV infection. Early pDC IRF7-signaling resulted in amplification of downstream antiviral responses, including an accelerated natural killer (NK) cell-mediated type II IFN response. These studies revealed the dominant, yet indirect role of pDC IRF7-signaling in directing both type I and II IFN responses during arbovirus infections.