Special Issue "Novel Use of Cell Culture Systems to Understand Viral-Host Interactions"

A special issue of Viruses (ISSN 1999-4915).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (30 June 2016).

Special Issue Editor

Prof. Charu Kaushic
Website
Guest Editor
McMaster University, Department of Pathology and Molecular Medicine, Immunology Research Center, MDCL 4014, 1280 Main St West, Hamilton, Ontario, Canada L7P 4M9
Interests: genital tract interactions with HSV-2 and HIV-1, mucosal immunity to sexually transmitted viruses, innate immune responses of epithelial cells

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Interactions between viruses and their hosts are complex. Cell culture systems allow researchers to examine these interactions by using host cells in a controlled environment. In recent years the development and use of primary cultures, organotypic and 3D-cultures, and other specialized cell culture models has led to elucidation of a number of novel host-pathogen interactions. This special issue of Viruses is focussed on highlighting some of these new model systems that have been used successfully to increase our understanding of the complex communications between viruses and host cells. We hope that this collection of reviews and research articles will be a valuable resource for new and established researchers to apply some of these techniques into their own research.

Prof. Charu Kaushic
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

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Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Viruses is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 2000 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • primary cells
  • viral-host interactions
  • anti-viral pathways
  • viral pathogenesis
  • 3D-culture models
  • ex vivo culture models

Published Papers (6 papers)

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Research

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Open AccessArticle
Effects of Female Sex Hormones on Susceptibility to HSV-2 in Vaginal Cells Grown in Air-Liquid Interface
Viruses 2016, 8(9), 241; https://doi.org/10.3390/v8090241 - 30 Aug 2016
Cited by 6
Abstract
The lower female reproductive tract (FRT) is comprised of the cervix and vagina, surfaces that are continuously exposed to a variety of commensal and pathogenic organisms. Sexually transmitted viruses, such as herpes simplex virus type 2 (HSV-2), have to traverse the mucosal epithelial [...] Read more.
The lower female reproductive tract (FRT) is comprised of the cervix and vagina, surfaces that are continuously exposed to a variety of commensal and pathogenic organisms. Sexually transmitted viruses, such as herpes simplex virus type 2 (HSV-2), have to traverse the mucosal epithelial lining of the FRT to establish infection. The majority of current culture systems that model the host-pathogen interactions in the mucosal epithelium have limitations in simulating physiological conditions as they employ a liquid-liquid interface (LLI), in which both apical and basolateral surfaces are submerged in growth medium. We designed the current study to simulate in vivo conditions by growing an immortalized vaginal epithelial cell line (Vk2/E6E7) in culture with an air-liquid interface (ALI) and examined the effects of female sex hormones on their growth, differentiation, and susceptibility to HSV-2 under these conditions, in comparison to LLI cultures. ALI conditions induced Vk2/E6E7 cells to grow into multi-layered cultures compared to the monolayers present in LLI conditions. Vk2 cells in ALI showed higher production of cytokeratin in the presence of estradiol (E2), compared to cells grown in progesterone (P4). Cells grown under ALI conditions were exposed to HSV-2-green fluorescent protein (GFP) and the highest infection and replication was observed in the presence of P4. Altogether, this study suggests that ALI cultures more closely simulate the in vivo conditions of the FRT compared to the conventional LLI cultures. Furthermore, under these conditions P4 was found to confer higher susceptibility to HSV-2 infection in vaginal cells. The vaginal ALI culture system offers a better alternative to study host-pathogen interactions. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Local Innate Responses to TLR Ligands in the Chicken Trachea
Viruses 2016, 8(7), 207; https://doi.org/10.3390/v8070207 - 22 Jul 2016
Cited by 8
Abstract
The chicken upper respiratory tract is the portal of entry for respiratory pathogens, such as avian influenza virus (AIV). The presence of microorganisms is sensed by pathogen recognition receptors (such as Toll-like receptors (TLRs)) of the innate immune defenses. Innate responses are essential [...] Read more.
The chicken upper respiratory tract is the portal of entry for respiratory pathogens, such as avian influenza virus (AIV). The presence of microorganisms is sensed by pathogen recognition receptors (such as Toll-like receptors (TLRs)) of the innate immune defenses. Innate responses are essential for subsequent induction of potent adaptive immune responses, but little information is available about innate antiviral responses of the chicken trachea. We hypothesized that TLR ligands induce innate antiviral responses in the chicken trachea. Tracheal organ cultures (TOC) were used to investigate localized innate responses to TLR ligands. Expression of candidate genes, which play a role in antiviral responses, was quantified. To confirm the antiviral responses of stimulated TOC, chicken macrophages were treated with supernatants from stimulated TOC, prior to infection with AIV. The results demonstrated that TLR ligands induced the expression of pro-inflammatory cytokines, type I interferons and interferon stimulated genes in the chicken trachea. In conclusion, TLR ligands induce functional antiviral responses in the chicken trachea, which may act against some pathogens, such as AIV. Full article
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Review

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Open AccessReview
Three-Dimensional Rotating Wall Vessel-Derived Cell Culture Models for Studying Virus-Host Interactions
Viruses 2016, 8(11), 304; https://doi.org/10.3390/v8110304 - 09 Nov 2016
Cited by 7
Abstract
The key to better understanding complex virus-host interactions is the utilization of robust three-dimensional (3D) human cell cultures that effectively recapitulate native tissue architecture and model the microenvironment. A lack of physiologically-relevant animal models for many viruses has limited the elucidation of factors [...] Read more.
The key to better understanding complex virus-host interactions is the utilization of robust three-dimensional (3D) human cell cultures that effectively recapitulate native tissue architecture and model the microenvironment. A lack of physiologically-relevant animal models for many viruses has limited the elucidation of factors that influence viral pathogenesis and of complex host immune mechanisms. Conventional monolayer cell cultures may support viral infection, but are unable to form the tissue structures and complex microenvironments that mimic host physiology and, therefore, limiting their translational utility. The rotating wall vessel (RWV) bioreactor was designed by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) to model microgravity and was later found to more accurately reproduce features of human tissue in vivo. Cells grown in RWV bioreactors develop in a low fluid-shear environment, which enables cells to form complex 3D tissue-like aggregates. A wide variety of human tissues (from neuronal to vaginal tissue) have been grown in RWV bioreactors and have been shown to support productive viral infection and physiological meaningful host responses. The in vivo-like characteristics and cellular features of the human 3D RWV-derived aggregates make them ideal model systems to effectively recapitulate pathophysiology and host responses necessary to conduct rigorous basic science, preclinical and translational studies. Full article
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Open AccessReview
The Importance of Physiologically Relevant Cell Lines for Studying Virus–Host Interactions
Viruses 2016, 8(11), 297; https://doi.org/10.3390/v8110297 - 01 Nov 2016
Cited by 8
Abstract
Viruses interact intimately with the host cell at nearly every stage of replication, and the cell model that is chosen to study virus infection is critically important. Although primary cells reflect the phenotype of healthy cells in vivo better than cell lines, their [...] Read more.
Viruses interact intimately with the host cell at nearly every stage of replication, and the cell model that is chosen to study virus infection is critically important. Although primary cells reflect the phenotype of healthy cells in vivo better than cell lines, their limited lifespan makes experimental manipulation challenging. However, many tumor-derived and artificially immortalized cell lines have defects in induction of interferon-stimulated genes and other antiviral defenses. These defects can affect virus replication, especially when cells are infected at lower, more physiologically relevant, multiplicities of infection. Understanding the selective pressures and mechanisms underlying the loss of innate signaling pathways is helpful to choose immortalized cell lines without impaired antiviral defense. We describe the trials and tribulations we encountered while searching for an immortalized cell line with intact innate signaling, and how directed immortalization of primary cells avoids many of the pitfalls of spontaneous immortalization. Full article
Open AccessReview
Where in the Cell Are You? Probing HIV-1 Host Interactions through Advanced Imaging Techniques
Viruses 2016, 8(10), 288; https://doi.org/10.3390/v8100288 - 19 Oct 2016
Cited by 6
Abstract
Viruses must continuously evolve to hijack the host cell machinery in order to successfully replicate and orchestrate key interactions that support their persistence. The type-1 human immunodeficiency virus (HIV-1) is a prime example of viral persistence within the host, having plagued the human [...] Read more.
Viruses must continuously evolve to hijack the host cell machinery in order to successfully replicate and orchestrate key interactions that support their persistence. The type-1 human immunodeficiency virus (HIV-1) is a prime example of viral persistence within the host, having plagued the human population for decades. In recent years, advances in cellular imaging and molecular biology have aided the elucidation of key steps mediating the HIV-1 lifecycle and viral pathogenesis. Super-resolution imaging techniques such as stimulated emission depletion (STED) and photoactivation and localization microscopy (PALM) have been instrumental in studying viral assembly and release through both cell–cell transmission and cell–free viral transmission. Moreover, powerful methods such as Forster resonance energy transfer (FRET) and bimolecular fluorescence complementation (BiFC) have shed light on the protein-protein interactions HIV-1 engages within the host to hijack the cellular machinery. Specific advancements in live cell imaging in combination with the use of multicolor viral particles have become indispensable to unravelling the dynamic nature of these virus-host interactions. In the current review, we outline novel imaging methods that have been used to study the HIV-1 lifecycle and highlight advancements in the cell culture models developed to enhance our understanding of the HIV-1 lifecycle. Full article
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Open AccessReview
Cell Culture Models for the Investigation of Hepatitis B and D Virus Infection
Viruses 2016, 8(9), 261; https://doi.org/10.3390/v8090261 - 20 Sep 2016
Cited by 22
Abstract
Chronic hepatitis B virus (HBV) and hepatitis D virus (HDV) infections are major causes of liver disease and hepatocellular carcinoma worldwide. Despite the presence of an efficient preventive vaccine, more than 250 million patients are chronically infected with HBV. Current antivirals effectively control [...] Read more.
Chronic hepatitis B virus (HBV) and hepatitis D virus (HDV) infections are major causes of liver disease and hepatocellular carcinoma worldwide. Despite the presence of an efficient preventive vaccine, more than 250 million patients are chronically infected with HBV. Current antivirals effectively control but only rarely cure chronic infection. While the molecular biology of the two viruses has been characterized in great detail, the absence of robust cell culture models for HBV and/or HDV infection has limited the investigation of virus-host interactions. Native hepatoma cell lines do not allow viral infection, and the culture of primary hepatocytes, the natural host cell for the viruses, implies a series of constraints restricting the possibilities of analyzing virus-host interactions. Recently, the discovery of the sodium taurocholate co-transporting polypeptide (NTCP) as a key HBV/HDV cell entry factor has opened the door to a new era of investigation, as NTCP-overexpressing hepatoma cells acquire susceptibility to HBV and HDV infections. In this review, we summarize the major cell culture models for HBV and HDV infection, discuss their advantages and limitations and highlight perspectives for future developments. Full article
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