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The association of members of the enterovirus family with pregnancy complications up to miscarriages is under discussion. Here, infection of two different human induced pluripotent stem cell (iPSC) lines and iPSC-derived primary germ-layer cells with coxsackievirus B3 (CVB3) was characterized as an in vitro cell culture model for very early human development. Transcriptomic analysis of iPSC lines infected with recombinant CVB3 expressing enhanced green fluorescent protein (EGFP) revealed a reduction in the expression of pluripotency genes besides an enhancement of genes involved in RNA metabolism. The initial distribution of CVB3-EGFP-positive cells within iPSC colonies correlated with the distribution of its receptor coxsackie- and adenovirus receptor (CAR). Application of anti-CAR blocking antibodies supported the requirement of CAR, but not of the co-receptor decay-accelerating factor (DAF) for infection of iPSC lines. Among iPSC-derived germ-layer cells, mesodermal cells were especially vulnerable to CVB3-EGFP infection. Our data implicate further consideration of members of the enterovirus family in the screening program of human pregnancies. Furthermore, iPSCs with their differentiation capacity into cell populations of relevant viral target organs could offer a reliable screening approach for therapeutic intervention and for assessment of organ-specific enterovirus virulence.


Janik Böhnke, Sandra Pinkert, Maria Schmidt, Hans Binder, Nicole Christin Bilz, Matthias Jung, Uta Reibetanz, Antje Beling, Dan Rujescu, Claudia Claus. Coxsackievirus B3 Infection of Human iPSC Lines and Derived Primary Germ-Layer Cells Regarding Receptor Expression. International journal of molecular sciences. 2021 Jan 27;22(3)

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PMID: 33513663

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