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J Med Virol. 2005 Jun;76(2):234-40.

HFRS causing hantaviruses do not induce apoptosis in confluent Vero E6 and A-549 cells.

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Swedish Institute for Infectious Disease Control, Solna, Sweden.


Hantaviruses are known to cause little or no cytopathic effect in vitro, but have been suggested to cause apoptosis. To determine whether different hantaviruses would induce apoptosis to varying degrees, confluent Vero E6 cells were infected with the hemorrhagic fever with renal syndrome (HFRS) causing viruses Hantaan, Dobrava, Saaremaa, and Puumala. However, no difference was found in the percentage of adherent cells, or of cells with condensed nuclei, between non-infected and virus-infected cells at 3, 6, 9, or 12 days after infection. Furthermore, no differences in the percentage of cells with inter-nucleosomal cleavage of DNA between uninfected and Hantaan infected cells could be detected using the TUNEL assay. Possibly, slightly more apoptotic cells, but never more than 5%, were detected after Hantaan infection of non-confluent cells as compared to the negative control. Earlier reported results that Tula hantavirus induces significant apoptosis on Vero E6 cells were also verified, suggesting that non-pathogenic hantaviruses might differ from HFRS-causing strains regarding induction of apoptosis. In conclusion, the results indicated that the HFRS-causing hantaviruses might induce a very low level of apoptosis in dividing cells, but not at all in confluent cells.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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