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Selective receptor expression restricts Nipah virus infection of endothelial cells

Authors
Journal
Virology Journal
1743-422X
Publisher
Springer (Biomed Central Ltd.)
Publication Date
Volume
5
Issue
1
Identifiers
DOI: 10.1186/1743-422x-5-142
Keywords
  • Short Report
Disciplines
  • Medicine

Abstract

Nipah virus (NiV) is a highly pathogenic paramyxovirus that causes severe diseases in animals and humans. Endothelial cell (EC) infection is an established hallmark of NiV infection in vivo. Despite systemic virus spread via the vascular system, EC in brain and lung are preferentially infected whereas EC in other organs are less affected. As in vivo, we found differences in the infection of EC in cell culture. Only brain-derived primary or immortalized EC were found to be permissive to NiV infection. Using a replication-independent fusion assay, we could show that the lack of infection in non-brain EC was due to a lack of receptor expression. The NiV entry receptors ephrinB2 (EB2) or ephrinB3 were only expressed in brain endothelia. The finding that EB2 expression in previously non-permissive aortic EC rendered the cells permissive to infection then demonstrated that EB2 is not only necessary but also sufficient to allow the establishment of a productive NiV infection. This strongly suggests that limitations in receptor expression restrict virus entry in certain EC subsets in vivo, and are thus responsible for the differences in EC tropism observed in human and animal NiV infections.

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