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J Hum Virol. 2000 Jul-Aug;3(4):215-28.

Human cytomegalovirus causes productive infection and neuronal injury in differentiating fetal human central nervous system neuroepithelial precursor cells.

Author information

1
Department of Veterans Affairs Medical Center, Miami, Florida 33125, USA. mmccarth@med.miami.edu

Abstract

OBJECTIVES:

To study the effect of cell differentiation on the vulnerability of human neural cell types to human cytomegalovirus (HCMV) infection.

STUDY DESIGN/METHODS:

Primary cultures of human fetal neuroepithelial stem cells and differentiating neuroepithelial precursor cells were infected with HCMV strain AD169. Infectious virus production, apoptosis, and viral-associated cytopathic effects then were examined over a 5-day period.

RESULTS:

HCMV established productive infection in these cells, generating 10-fold amplification of infectious virus. There was no significant difference in the percentage of apoptotic cells in HCMV-infected versus mock-infected cultures. HCMV antigen and specific cytopathic effects were observed in differentiating astrocytes and neurons, although HCMV antigen was 2-fold more frequent among postmitotic neurons.

CONCLUSIONS:

Neuroepithelial precursor cells and differentiating astrocytes and neurons are permissive to cytopathic HCMV infection, suggesting that the fetal human central nervous system is vulnerable to HCMV-induced neuronal injury at its earliest stages of development.

PMID:
10990168
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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