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Virology. 2010 Jun 5;401(2):146-54. doi: 10.1016/j.virol.2010.02.004. Epub 2010 Mar 12.

Astrovirus infection induces sodium malabsorption and redistributes sodium hydrogen exchanger expression.

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Department of Clinical Sciences, North Carolina State University, Raleigh, NC, USA.


Astroviruses are known to be a leading cause of diarrhea in infants and the immunocompromised; however, our understanding of this endemic pathogen is limited. Histological analyses of astrovirus pathogenesis demonstrate clinical disease is not associated with changes to intestinal architecture, inflammation, or cell death. Recent studies in vitro have suggested that astroviruses induce actin rearrangement leading to loss of barrier function. The current study used the type-2 turkey astrovirus (TAstV-2) and turkey poult model of astrovirus disease to examine how astrovirus infection affects the ultrastructure and electrophysiology of the intestinal epithelium. These data demonstrate that infection results in changes to the epithelial ultrastructure, rearrangement of F-actin, decreased absorption of sodium, as well as redistribution of the sodium/hydrogen exchanger 3 (NHE3) from the membrane to the cytoplasm. Collectively, these data suggest astrovirus infection induces sodium malabsorption, possibly through redistribution of specific sodium transporters, which results in the development of an osmotic diarrhea.

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