Section 13
Chapter 12,204

Induction of caspase-dependent apoptosis in cultured rat oligodendrocytes by murine coronavirus is mediated during cell entry and does not require virus replication

Liu, Y.; Cai, Y.; Zhang, X.

Journal of Virology 77(22): 11952-11963


ISSN/ISBN: 0022-538X
PMID: 14581532
DOI: 10.1128/jvi.77.22.11952-11963.2003
Accession: 012203812

Murine coronavirus mouse hepatitis virus (MHV) causes demyelination of the central nervous system (CNS) in rats and mice. Apoptotic oligodendrocytes have been detected in the vicinity of the CNS demyelinating lesions in these animals. However, whether MHV can directly induce oligodendrocyte apoptosis has not been documented. Here, we established a rat oligodendrocyte culture that is morphologically and phenotypically indistinguishable from the primary rat oligodendrocytes. Using this culture, we showed that mature rat oligodendrocytes were permissive to MHV infection but did not support productive virus replication. Significantly, oligodendrocytes infected with both live and ultraviolet light-inactivated viruses underwent apoptosis to a similar extent, which was readily detectable at 24 h postinfection as revealed by apoptotic bodies and DNA fragmentation, indicating that MHV-induced apoptosis is mediated during the early stages of the virus life cycle and does not require virus replication. Prior treatment of cells with the lysosomotropic agents NH(4)Cl and chloroquine as well as the vacuolar proton pump-ATPase inhibitor bafilomycin A1, all of which block the acidification of the endosome, prevented oligodendrocytes from succumbing to apoptosis induced by MHV mutant OBLV60, which enters cells via endocytosis, indicating that fusion between the viral envelope and cell membranes triggers the apoptotic cascade. Treatment with the pan-caspase inhibitor Z-VAD-fmk blocked MHV-induced apoptosis, suggesting an involvement of the caspase-dependent pathway. Our results, thus, for the first time provide unequivocal evidence that infection of oligodendrocytes with MHV directly results in apoptosis. This finding provides an explanation for the destruction of oligodendrocytes and the damage of myelin sheath in MHV-infected CNS and suggests that oligodendrocyte apoptosis may be one of the underlying mechanisms for the pathogenesis of MHV-induced demyelinating diseases in animals.

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