Membrane related effects in endothelial cells induced by human cytomegalovirus

Arch Virol. 1995;140(9):1601-12. doi: 10.1007/BF01322533.


Previously, we have reported on the increase in procoagulant activity of human umbilical vein endothelial cells (HUVEC) after infection with human cytomegalovirus (HCMV). When using microvascular endothelial cells from foreskin (MVEC), we also observe a significant increase in membrane perturbation and a concomittant increase in procoagulant activity. This effect is both observed with a laboratory HCMV strain (AD169) with low pathogenicity for endothelium and a HUVEC adapted strain (VHL-E) that readily infects endothelial cells. We compared the membrane perturbation of two types of endothelial cells, HUVEC and MVEC with human embryonal fibroblasts (HEF), being fully permissive for both strains. A membrane effect was only found in endothelial cells. Our results suggest that HCMV induces in MVEC more merocyanine-540 incorporation in the membrane as in HUVEC. The increase in the procoagulant activity induced by HCMV was more pronounced in MVEC than in HUVEC. Inactivated virus, as well as virus pre-incubated with heparin was unable to evoke membrane perturbation. It therefore appears that HCMV induces a rapid membrane response in vascular endothelium and that physical interaction of the virion and the endothelial cell is required to elicit this response.

MeSH terms

  • Blood Coagulation
  • Cell Membrane
  • Cells, Cultured
  • Cytomegalovirus / pathogenicity*
  • Endothelium, Vascular / microbiology*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Microcirculation
  • Pyrimidinones


  • Pyrimidinones
  • merocyanine dye