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Activation of apoptotic signalling events in human embryonic stem cells upon Coxsackievirus B3 infection.

Romorini, Leonardo; Scassa, María E; Videla Richardson, Guillermo; Blüguermann, Carolina; Jaquenod de Giusti, Carolina; Questa, María; Fernandez Espinosa, Damián D; Gómez, Ricardo M; Sevlever, Gustavo E; Miriuka, Santiago G.
Apoptosis ; 17(2): 132-42, 2012 Feb.
Artículo en Inglés | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-22012335
Human embryonic stem cells (hESCs) are self-renewing pluripotent cells that can differentiate to a wide range of specialized cells and hold great promise as models for human development and disease, as well as for drug discovery and cell-replacement therapies. Group B Coxsackie viruses (CVBs) produce acute myocarditis, pancreatitis, non-septic meningitis and encephalitis in neonates, children and young adults. Moreover, CVBs can produce spontaneous miscarriage after early embryo infection. It was reported that hESCs express CVBs receptors and are susceptible to CVB3 infection. Apoptosis is one of the hallmarks of CVBs infection although details regarding CVB3 involvement in the apoptotic processes remain elusive. In order to evaluate the mechanisms of cell death induced by CVB3 in these pluripotent cells, we infected HUES-5 (H5) and WA01 (H1) hESC lines with CVB3. After validating the maintenance of stemness in these hESC lines when grown as confluent monolayers in feeder-free conditions, we analysed several aspects of programmed cell death triggered by CVB3. In all cases, we detected chromatin condensation, DNA fragmentation and caspase-9 and 3 cleavages. Moreover, we observed the presence of cleaved PARP product which was preceded by the appearance of p17, the catalytically active fragment of caspase-3. Mitochondrial function assays revealed a MOI dependent decrease in cell viability at 24 h post-infection (pi). No appreciable modifications in Bcl-2, Bcl-X(L) and Bax protein levels were observed upon CVB3 infection during 5-24 h observation period. However, a marked decrease in pro-apoptotic Bad abundance was detected without changes in its mRNA levels. In this study we found that the hESCs are highly susceptible to CVB3 infection and display elevated apoptosis rates, thus emerging as suitable human non-transformed in vitro models to study CVB3-induced apoptosis and resulting relevant to understand CVBs pathogenesis.