Measles virus (MV) infects endothelial cells of the skin, the brain and other organs during acute or persistent infections. Endothelial cells are supposed to play an important role in virus spread from the blood stream to surrounding tissues. CD46 and CD150 (signalling lymphocytic activation molecule, SLAM) have been described as cellular receptors for certain MV strains. We found that human umbilical vein and brain microvascular endothelial cells (HUVECs and HBMECs) were CD46-positive, but did not express SLAM. Wild-type MV strains, which do not use CD46 as a receptor at the surface of transfected Chinese hamster ovary cells, infected HUVECs and HBMECs to varying extents in a strain-dependent way. This infection was not inhibited by antibodies to CD46. These data suggest the presence of an additional unidentified receptor for MV uptake and spread in human endothelial cells.
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