PLOS ONE: The Effect of Cellular Differentiation on HSV-1 Infection of Oligodendrocytic Cells

Herpes simplex type 1 (HSV-1) is a neurotropic virus that infects many
types of cells. Previous studies have demonstrated that oligodendrocytic
cells are highly susceptible to HSV-1 infection. Here we analysed HSV-1
infection of a human oligodendrocytic cell line, HOG, and
oligodendrocyte precursor cells (OPCs) cultured under growth or
differentiation conditions. In addition to cell susceptibility, the role
of the major cell receptors for viral entry was assessed. Our results
revealed that OPCs and HOG cells cultured under differentiation
conditions became more susceptible to HSV-1. On the other hand, viral
infection induced morphological changes corresponding to differentiated
cells, suggesting that HSV-1 might be inducing cell differentiation. We
also observed colocalization of HVEM and nectin-1 with viral particles,
suggesting that these two major HSV-1 receptors are functional in HOG
cells. Finally, electron microscopy assays indicated that HSV-1 may be
also entering OLs by macropinocytosis depending on their differentiation
stage. In addition, vesicles containing intracellular enveloped virions
observed in differentiated cells point to an endocytic mechanism of
virus entry. All these data are indicative of diverse entry pathways
dependent on the maturation stage of OLs.

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