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Echovirus 6 infects human exocrine and endocrine pancreatic cells and induces pro-inflammatory innate immune response

  • Luis Sarmiento-Pérez
  • Gun Frisk
  • Mahesh Anagandula
  • Monika Hodik
  • Ilaria Barchetta
  • Eitan Netanyah
  • Eduardo Cabrera-Rode
  • Corrado M. Cilio
Publishing year: 2017-02-01
Language: English
Publication/Series: Viruses
Volume: 9
Issue: 2
Document type: Journal article
Publisher: Multidisciplinary Digital Publishing Institute (MDPI)

Abstract english

Human enteroviruses (HEV), especially coxsackievirus serotype B (CVB) and echovirus (E), have been associated with diseases of both the exocrine and endocrine pancreas, but so far evidence on HEV infection in human pancreas has been reported only in islets and ductal cells. This study aimed to investigate the capability of echovirus strains to infect human exocrine and endocrine pancreatic cells. Infection of explanted human islets and exocrine cells with seven field strains of E6 caused cytopathic effect, virus titer increase and production of HEV protein VP1 in both cell types. Virus particles were found in islets and acinar cells infected with E6. No cytopathic effect or infectious progeny production was observed in exocrine cells exposed to the beta cell-tropic strains of E16 and E30. Endocrine cells responded to E6, E16 and E30 by upregulating the transcription of interferon-induced with helicase C domain 1 (IF1H1), 2ʹ-5ʹ-oligoadenylate synthetase 1 (OAS1), interferon-β (IFN-β), chemokine (C-X-C motif) ligand 10 (CXCL10) and chemokine (C-C motif) ligand 5 (CCL5). Echovirus 6, but not E16 or E30, led to increased transcription of these genes in exocrine cells. These data demonstrate for the first time that human exocrine cells represent a target for E6 infection and suggest that certain HEV serotypes can replicate in human pancreatic exocrine cells, while the pancreatic endocrine cells are permissive to a wider range of HEV.


  • Immunology in the medical area
  • Endocrinology and Diabetes
  • Acinar cells
  • Echovirus
  • Enterovirus
  • Inflammation
  • Islet of Langerhans
  • Pancreas
  • Tropism


  • Cellular Autoimmunity
  • ISSN: 1999-4915
E-mail: eitan [dot] netanyah [at] med [dot] lu [dot] se

Doctoral student

Islet patophysiology


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