Pluto Bioinformatics

GSE87750: Zika virus directly infects human peripheral neurons and induces cell death

Bulk RNA sequencing

Zika virus (ZIKV), a flavivirus transmitted primarily by Aedes mosquitoes, has spread to 59 countries and territories throughout the world. ZIKV-infected patients can have several symptoms and there is scientific consensus that ZIKV is a cause of microcephaly. Most studies are focusing on the central nervous system (CNS), and it is largely unknown whether ZIKV also affects the developing peripheral nervous system. Here, using a human pluripotent stem cell-based model, we demonstrated that Puerto Rican ZIKV strain, PRVABC59, efficiently infects human neural crest cells (hNCCs). In contrast to little infection of CNS neurons, ZIKV readily infects human peripheral neurons (hPNs), leading to cell death. Global gene expression analyses of infected hNCCs and hPNs reveal transcriptional dysregulation, notably of cell-death- and cell-cycle-related pathways. Our results identify hNCCs and hPNs as a direct ZIKV target and provide a framework to investigate the ZIKV pathology on the peripheral neurons. SOURCE: Peng Jin ( - Jin Lab Emory University

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