Alterations of the plasma membrane caused by murine polyomavirus proliferation: an electrorotation study

J Membr Biol. 2009 May;229(1):19-25. doi: 10.1007/s00232-009-9172-6. Epub 2009 May 9.


In this report we investigate the alterations of the dielectric properties of the plasma membrane caused by the infection of cultured fibroblasts with murine polyomavirus. The approach consists in a well-established dielectric spectroscopy technique, electrorotation, which has been successfully used in our laboratory to study the alterations of the plasma membrane of cells exposed to various forms of stress. The response to viral proliferation was time dependent as shown by evaluation of the de novo synthesis of viral DNA. This response was paralleled by gradual damage of the membrane evidenced by alteration of the dielectric parameters, specific capacitance and conductance. The electrorotation results show a reduced effect on the dielectric properties of the membrane when infection is carried out in the presence of a natural oil (MEX). In this case a drastic reduction in viral DNA synthesis was also monitored, thus indicating an antiviral action of this product.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cell Line
  • Cell Membrane / physiology*
  • Cell Membrane / virology*
  • Electric Conductivity
  • Electroporation / methods*
  • Fibroblasts / physiology*
  • Fibroblasts / virology*
  • Mice
  • Polyomavirus / growth & development*