Coxsackievirus A16 infection induces neural cell and non-neural cell apoptosis in vitro

Zhaolong Li, Jinghua Yu, Li Liu, Zhenhong Wei, Elana S. Ehrlich, Guanchen Liu, Jingliang Li, Xin Liu, Hong Wang, Xiao Fang Yu, Wenyan Zhang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Coxsackievirus A16 (CA16) is one of the main causative pathogens of hand, foot and mouth disease (HFMD). Viral replication typically results in host cell apoptosis. Although CA16 infection has been reported to induce apoptosis in the human rhabdomyosarcoma (RD) cell line, it remains unclear whether CA16 induces apoptosis in diverse cell types, especially neural cells which have important clinical significance. In the current study, CA16 infection was found to induce similar apoptotic responses in both neural cells and non-neural cells in vitro, including nuclear fragmentation, DNA fragmentation and phosphatidylserine translocation. CA16 generally is not known to lead to serious neurological symptoms in vivo. In order to further clarify the correlation between clinical symptoms and cell apoptosis, two CA16 strains from patients with different clinical features were investigated. The results showed that both CA16 strains with or without neurological symptoms in infected patients led to neural and muscle cell apoptosis. Furthermore, mechanistic studies showed that CA16 infection induced apoptosis through the same mechanism in both neural and non-neural cells. namely via activation of both the mitochondrial (intrinsic) pathway-related caspase 9 protein and the Fas death receptor (extrinsic) pathway-related caspase 8 protein. Understanding the mechanisms by which CA16 infection induces apoptosis in both neural and non-neural cells will facilitate a better understanding of CA16 pathogenesis.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere111174
JournalPloS one
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 28 2014

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)
  • General

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