Susceptibility of human primary neuronal cells to Xenotropic Murine Leukemia Virus-related (XMRV) virus infection – Source: Virology Journal, Sep 20, 2011

[Note: a full text provisional pdf of this article can be found at]

Background: Xenotropic Murine Leukemia Virus-related (XMRV) virus is a recently identified mouse gammaretrovirus that has the ability to infect certain human cells.

In this study, we investigated the susceptibility of primary neuronal [nerve] cell types to infection with XMRV.


We observed that the human primary progenitors, progenitor-derived neurons, and progenitor-derived astrocytes supported XMRV multiplication. [Progenitor cells are like stem cells in that they have a tendency to differentiate into specific types of cells. Astrocytes are star-shaped multi-functional cells found in the brain and spinal cord.]

Interestingly, both progenitors and progenitor-derived neurons were more susceptible compared with progenitor-derived astrocytes.

In addition, XMRV-infected Jurkat cells were able to transmit infection to neuronal cells. [Jurkat cells are a line of  ‘immortalized’ immune T cells used in research.]

Conclusions: These data suggest that neuronal cells are susceptible for XMRV infection.

Source: Virology Journal, Sep 20, 2011;8:443. DOI:10.1186/1743-422X-8-443, by Ravichandran V, Major EO, Ibe C, Monaco MC, girisetty MKH, Hewlett IK. Laboratory of Molecular Virology, Division of Emerging and Transfusion Transmitted Diseases, Office of Blood Research and Review, Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research, Food and Drug Administration, Bethesda, Maryland, USA; Laboratory of Molecular Medicine and Neuroscience, National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, Maryland, USA. 

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