The original strain of SARS-CoV-2, the Delta variant, and the Omicron variant infect microglia efficiently, in contrast to their inability to infect neurons: Analysis using 2D and 3D cultures

Yoshitaka Kase, Iki Sonn, Maraku Goto, Rei Murakami, Tsukika Sato, Hideyuki Okano

研究成果: ジャーナルへの寄稿学術論文査読

12 被引用数 (Scopus)

抄録

COVID-19 causes neurological damage, systemic inflammation, and immune cell abnormalities. COVID-19-induced neurological impairment may be caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), which directly infects cells of the central nervous system (CNS) and exerts toxic effects. Furthermore, SARS-CoV-2 mutations occur constantly, and it is not well understood how the infectivity of the virus to cells of the CNS changes as the virus mutates. Few studies have examined whether the infectivity of cells of CNS - neural stem/progenitor cells (NS/PCs), neurons, astrocytes, and microglia - varies among SARS-CoV-2 mutant strains. In this study, therefore, we investigated whether SARS-CoV-2 mutations increase infectivity to CNS cells, including microglia. Since it was essential to demonstrate the infectivity of the virus to CNS cells in vitro using human cells, we generated cortical neurons, astrocytes, and microglia from human induced pluripotent stem cells (hiPSCs). We added pseudotyped lentiviruses of SARS-CoV-2 to each type of cells, and then we examined their infectivity. We prepared three pseudotyped lentiviruses expressing the S protein of the original strain (the first SARS-CoV-2 discovered in the world), the Delta variant, and the Omicron variant on their envelopes and analyzed differences of their ability to infect CNS cells. We also generated brain organoids and investigated the infectivity of each virus. The viruses did not infect cortical neurons, astrocytes, or NS/PCs, but microglia were infected by the original, Delta, and Omicron pseudotyped viruses. In addition, DPP4 and CD147, potential core receptors of SARS-CoV-2, were highly expressed in the infected microglia, while DPP4 expression was deficient in cortical neurons, astrocytes, and NS/PCs. Our results suggest that DPP4, which is also a receptor for Middle East respiratory syndrome-coronavirus (MERS-CoV), may play an essential role in the CNS. Our study is applicable to the validation of the infectivity of viruses that cause various infectious diseases in CNS cells, which are difficult to sample from humans.

本文言語英語
論文番号114379
ジャーナルExperimental Neurology
363
DOI
出版ステータス出版済み - 05-2023

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • 神経学
  • 発達神経科学

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