SARS-CoV Replicates in Primary Human Alveolar Type II Cell Cultures but Not in Type I-like Cells

Virology. 2008 Mar 1;372(1):127-35. doi: 10.1016/j.virol.2007.09.045. Epub 2007 Nov 26.

Abstract

Severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) is a disease characterized by diffuse alveolar damage. We isolated human alveolar type II cells and maintained them in a highly differentiated state. Type II cell cultures supported SARS-CoV replication as evidenced by RT-PCR detection of viral subgenomic RNA and an increase in virus titer. Virus titers were maximal by 24 h and peaked at approximately 10(5) pfu/mL. Two cell types within the cultures were infected. One cell type was type II cells, which were positive for SP-A, SP-C, cytokeratin, a type II cell-specific monoclonal antibody, and Ep-CAM. The other cell type was composed of spindle-shaped cells that were positive for vimentin and collagen III and likely fibroblasts. Viral replication was not detected in type I-like cells or macrophages. Hence, differentiated adult human alveolar type II cells were infectible but alveolar type I-like cells and alveolar macrophages did not support productive infection.

Publication types

  • Evaluation Study
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Cell Differentiation
  • Cells, Cultured
  • Cytopathogenic Effect, Viral
  • Epithelium / virology*
  • Humans
  • Pulmonary Alveoli / cytology*
  • Pulmonary Alveoli / virology*
  • RNA, Viral / analysis
  • Reverse Transcriptase Polymerase Chain Reaction
  • SARS Virus / genetics
  • SARS Virus / physiology*
  • Virology / methods
  • Virus Replication*

Substances

  • RNA, Viral