Expression of poliovirus receptor in human spinal cord and muscle

Ann N Y Acad Sci. 1995 May 25;753:48-57. doi: 10.1111/j.1749-6632.1995.tb27530.x.


Because a prerequisite for infection of a cell with the poliovirus is the presence of poliovirus receptor (PVR), we examined its tissue localization in the human muscle, spinal cord, and muscle cultures using a specific monoclonal antibody against PVR in immunocytochemical studies on serial sections. We found weak expression of PVR in the motor neurons but not the axons. In normal muscle, PVR was expressed at the end plate as confirmed by immunolocalization in serial sections with alpha-bungarotoxin. In neurogenic conditions and in myopathies, PVR was found in occasional denervated muscle fibers and in several regenerating ones. Human myotubes expressed PVR and were susceptible to the poliovirus infection. We conclude that PVR is present at the motor end-plate that can serve as one of the routes of entry of the virus to the motor neurons. The presence of PVR in the regenerating muscle fibers is in accord with clinical observations that muscle injuries can predispose patients to paralytic poliomyelitis.

MeSH terms

  • Acute Disease
  • Cytopathogenic Effect, Viral
  • Humans
  • Immunologic Techniques
  • Membrane Proteins*
  • Muscles / metabolism*
  • Neuromuscular Diseases / metabolism
  • Poliomyelitis / metabolism*
  • Poliomyelitis / pathology
  • Poliovirus / pathogenicity
  • Postpoliomyelitis Syndrome / metabolism*
  • Receptors, Virus / metabolism*
  • Spinal Cord / metabolism*
  • Tissue Distribution


  • Membrane Proteins
  • Receptors, Virus
  • poliovirus receptor