We have compared Sindbis virus-induced cytopathology in vertebrate and mosquito (Aedes albopictus) cell cultures. It has been shown that vertebrate cells undergo apoptosis when infected by Sindbis virus and this was confirmed here using hamster cells (BHK). The occurrence of cell death in Sindbis virus-infected A. albopictus cells is a cell clone-specific phenomenon and, unlike in BHK cell cultures, mosquito cell death does not correlate with a large induction of apoptosis, as determined by assays testing for DNA fragmentation or reduced cellular DNA content. Cell cycle distribution changes were observed in Sindbis virus-infected BHK and C7-10 cell cultures, and the changes are distinct, both in the time of induction and the types of perturbations. In Sindbis virus-infected BHK cells, the major cell cycle profile change is the early accumulation of cells with sub-G1 DNA content and a corresponding reduction in the proportion of cells in G1 and G2/M. For Sindbis virus-infected C7-10 cells, the major perturbations are an increased proportion of cells showing G2/M or polyploid DNA content and a reduction in the proportion of G1 and S phase cells. These data suggest that the pathology induced in mosquito cell cultures by Sindbis virus infection may be distinct from the pathology which appears in vertebrate cell cultures.
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