- Green Fluorescent Protein (GFP) color reporter gene visualizes parvovirus B19 Non-structural Segment 1 (NS1) transfected endothelial modification (2012)
- Background: Human Parvovirus B19 (PVB19) has been associated with myocarditis putative due to endothelial infection. Whether PVB19 infects endothelial cells and causes a modification of endothelial function and inflammation and, thus, disturbance of microcirculation has not been elucidated and could not be visualized so far. Methods and Findings: To examine the PVB19-induced endothelial modification, we used green fluorescent protein (GFP) color reporter gene in the non-structural segment 1 (NS1) of PVB19. NS1-GFP-PVB19 or GFP plasmid as control were transfected in an endothelial-like cell line (ECV304). The endothelial surface expression of intercellular-adhesion molecule-1 (CD54/ICAM-1) and extracellular matrix metalloproteinase inducer (EMMPRIN/CD147) were evaluated by flow cytometry after NS-1-GFP or control-GFP transfection. To evaluate platelet adhesion on NS-1 transfected ECs, we performed a dynamic adhesion assay (flow chamber). NS-1 transfection causes endothelial activation and enhanced expression of ICAM-1 (CD54: mean±standard deviation: NS1-GFP vs. control-GFP: 85.3±11.2 vs. 61.6±8.1; P<0.05) and induces endothelial expression of EMMPRIN/CD147 (CD147: mean±SEM: NS1-GFP vs. control-GFP: 114±15.3 vs. 80±0.91; P<0.05) compared to control-GFP transfected cells. Dynamic adhesion assays showed that adhesion of platelets is significantly enhanced on NS1 transfected ECs when compared to control-GFP (P<0.05). The transfection of ECs was verified simultaneously through flow cytometry, immunofluorescence microscopy and polymerase chain reaction (PCR) analysis. Conclusions: GFP color reporter gene shows transfection of ECs and may help to visualize NS1-PVB19 induced endothelial activation and platelet adhesion as well as an enhanced monocyte adhesion directly, providing in vitro evidence of possible microcirculatory dysfunction in PVB19-induced myocarditis and, thus, myocardial tissue damage.