Ebola virus (EBOV) causes severe hemorrhagic fever with high mortality rates. EBOV can infect many types of cells. During severe EBOV infection, polarized epithelial and endothelial cells are damaged, which promotes vascular instability and dysregulation. However, the mechanism causing these symptoms is largely unknown. Here, we studied virus infection in polarized Vero C1008 cells grown on semipermeable Transwell by using EGFP-labeled Ebola virus-like particles (VLPs). Our results showed that Ebola VLPs preferred to enter polarized Vero cells from the apical cell surface. Furthermore, we showed that the EBOV receptors TIM-1 and Axl were distributed apically, which could be responsible for mediating efficient apical viral entry. Macropinocytosis and intracellular receptor Niemann–Pick type C1 (NPC1) had no polarized distribution, although they played roles in virus entry. This study provides a new view of EBOV uptake and cell polarization, which facilitates a further understanding of EBOV infection and pathogenesis.
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