Susceptibility of human and rat neural cell lines to infection by SARS-coronavirus.
ABSTRACT Pathological characterization of autopsied tissues from patients with SARS revealed severe damage in restricted tissues, such as lung, with no apparent cell damage in other tissues, such as intestine and brain. Here, we examined the susceptibility of neural cell lines of human (OL) and rat (C6) origins to SARS-associated coronavirus. Both of the neural cell lines showed no apparent cytopathic effects (CPE) by infection but produced virus with infectivity of 10(2-5) per ml, in sharp contrast to the production by infected Vero E6 cells of >10(9) per ml that showed a lytic infection with characteristic rounding CPE. Interestingly, the infection of intestinal cell line CaCo-2 also induced no apparent CPE, with production of the virus at a slightly lower level as that of the Vero E6 cell culture. Notably, the cellular receptor for the virus, angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 was expressed at similar levels on Vero E6 and CaCo-2 cells, but at undetectable levels on OL and C6 cells.
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ABSTRACT: Coronaviruses cause a broad range of diseases in animals and humans. Human coronavirus (hCoV) NL63 is associated with up to 10% of common colds. Viral plaque assays enable the characterization of virus infectivity and allow for purifying virus stock solutions. They are essential for drug screening. Hitherto used cell cultures for hCoV-NL63 show low levels of virus replication and weak and diffuse cytopathogenic effects. It has not yet been possible to establish practicable plaque assays for this important human pathogen. 12 different cell cultures were tested for susceptibility to hCoV-NL63 infection. Human colon carcinoma cells (CaCo-2) replicated virus more than 100 fold more efficiently than commonly used African green monkey kidney cells (LLC-MK2). CaCo-2 cells showed cytopathogenic effects 4 days post infection. Avicel, agarose and carboxymethyl-cellulose overlays proved suitable for plaque assays. Best results were achieved with Avicel, which produced large and clear plaques from the 4th day of infection. The utility of plaque assays with agrose overlay was demonstrated for purifying virus, thereby increasing viral infectivity by 1 log 10 PFU/mL. CaCo-2 cells support hCoV-NL63 better than LLC-MK2 cells and enable cytopathogenic plaque assays. Avicel overlay is favourable for plaque quantification, and agarose overlay is preferred for plaque purification. HCoV-NL63 virus stock of increased infectivity will be beneficial in antiviral screening, animal modelling of disease, and other experimental tasks.Virology Journal 12/2008; 5:138. · 2.34 Impact Factor