Characterization of Chikungunya virus infection in human neuroblastoma SH-SY5Y cells: Role of apoptosis in neuronal cell death

R. Dhanwani, M. Khan, A. S.B. Bhaskar, Rajpriya Singh, I. K. Patro, P. V.L. Rao, M. M. Parida

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

36 Scopus citations


Chikungunya infection is characterized by fever, rash and arthritis. The disease pathogenesis is still poorly understood. Hence, unveiling the molecular mechanisms that govern the survival and death of neuronal cells infected by Chikungunya virus (CHIKV) was the particular interest of this study. Human neuroblastoma SH-SY5Y cells infected with CHIKV showed characteristic features of apoptosis with activation of caspase-3, cleavage of PARP and translocation of Cyt-c. Cells also showed a loss in the intracellular level of GSH and an increase in the lipid peroxidation of the infected cells with the increasing time of infection, which indicated the involvement of oxidative stress in Chikungunya infection. There was observed a gradual decrease in the fold change of antioxidant enzymes and an increase in the fold change of pro-inflammatory cytokines. This study suggested the implication of virus induced apoptosis in disease pathogenesis which may give a fresh insight for CHIKV induced neuronal cell damage and antiviral therapeutics.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)563-572
Number of pages10
JournalVirus research
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 2012

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
We gratefully acknowledge Dr. R. Vijayaraghwan, Director, DRDE for providing all the infrastructure used in this study. Rekha Dhanwani acknowledges the fellowship and the contingency grant received from Department of Biotechnology, India .

Copyright 2012 Elsevier B.V., All rights reserved.


  • Apoptosis
  • Chikungunya
  • Neuronal cells
  • Oxidative stress


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