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Susceptibility of human primary neuronal cells to Xenotropic Murine Leukemia Virus-related (XMRV) virus infection

Veerasamy Ravichandran1, Eugen O Major2, Carol Ibe2, Maria Chiara Monaco2, Mohan Kumar Haleyur Girisetty1 and Indira K Hewlett1*

Author Affiliations

1 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, MD 20892, USA

2 Laboratory of Molecular Medicine and Neuroscience, National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, MD 20892, USA

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Virology Journal 2011, 8:443  doi:10.1186/1743-422X-8-443

Published: 20 September 2011



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 cell types to infection with XMRV.


We observed that the human primary progenitors, progenitor-derived neurons, and progenitor-derived astrocytes supported XMRV multiplication. 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.


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

XMRV infection; Primary neuronal cells; Non-neuronal cells; Nuclear factors