10th International Virology Summit
Capital Medical University, China
Title: Sertoli cells are susceptible to ZIKV infection in mouse testis
Biography: Jing An
Recently, Zika virus (ZIKV) causes millions of infections which emerge as a new dangerous member of the genus of Flavivirus. Unlike other well-known flaviviruses, ZIKV can be transmitted sexually and infect testes in murine models. However, the exact susceptible cells are not entirely clear. To investigate these issues, we infected interferon α/β and γ receptors deficient AG6 mice with ZIKV and examined the outcomes of infection. Infected mice displayed signs of reproductive system disorder, altered androgen levels in serum, and high viral load in semen and testes. Seminiferous tubules showed atrophy, accompanied by positive staining of ZIKV antigens on Sertoli cells. Viral particles and vacuole changes were observed within Sertoli cells, whose susceptibility to ZIKV was further validated in vitro study using cell lines. The disruption of tight junctions within testis and altered sperm morphology were also observed in ZIKV infected mice. Our results therefore demonstrated that Sertoli cells are susceptible to ZIKV infection, which results in the disruption of tight junctions in testis and causes abnormal spermatogenesis in mice. These results also imply that long-term impact of ZIKV infection on human male reproductive system requires close monitoring.