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01.12.2018 | Short paper | Ausgabe 1/2018 Open Access

Fluids and Barriers of the CNS 1/2018

Zika virus crosses an in vitro human blood brain barrier model

Fluids and Barriers of the CNS > Ausgabe 1/2018
Judie B. Alimonti, Maria Ribecco-Lutkiewicz, Caroline Sodja, Anna Jezierski, Danica B. Stanimirovic, Qing Liu, Arsalan S. Haqqani, Wayne Conlan, Mahmud Bani-Yaghoub
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Electronic supplementary material

The online version of this article (https://​doi.​org/​10.​1186/​s12987-018-0100-y) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.


Zika virus (ZIKV) is a flavivirus that is highly neurotropic causing congenital abnormalities and neurological damage to the central nervous systems (CNS). In this study, we used a human induced pluripotent stem cell (iPSC)-derived blood brain barrier (BBB) model to demonstrate that ZIKV can infect brain endothelial cells (i-BECs) without compromising the BBB barrier integrity or permeability. Although no disruption to the BBB was observed post-infection, ZIKV particles were released on the abluminal side of the BBB model and infected underlying iPSC-derived neural progenitor cells (i-NPs). AXL, a putative ZIKV cellular entry receptor, was also highly expressed in ZIKV-susceptible i-BEC and i-NPs. This iPSC-derived BBB model can help elucidate the mechanism by which ZIKV can infect BECs, cross the BBB and gain access to the CNS.
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