Cytomegalovirus (CMV) is a widely prevalent herpesvirus that reaches seroprevalence rates of up to 95% in several parts of the world. The majority of CMV infections are asymptomatic, albeit they have severe detrimental effects on immunocompromised individuals. Congenital CMV infection is a leading cause of developmental abnormalities in the USA. CMV infection is a significant risk factor for cardiovascular diseases in individuals of all ages. Like other herpesviruses, CMV regulates cell death for its replication and establishes and maintains a latent state in the host. Although CMV-mediated regulation of cell death is reported by several groups, it is unknown how CMV infection affects necroptosis and apoptosis in cardiac cells. Here, we infected primary cardiomyocytes, the contractile cells in the heart, and primary cardiac fibroblasts with wild-type and cell-death suppressor deficient mutant CMVs to determine how CMV regulates necroptosis and apoptosis in cardiac cells. Our results reveal that CMV infection prevents TNF-induced necroptosis in cardiomyocytes; however, the opposite phenotype is observed in cardiac fibroblasts. CMV infection also suppresses inflammation, reactive oxygen species (ROS) generation, and apoptosis in cardiomyocytes. Furthermore, CMV infection improves mitochondrial biogenesis and viability in cardiomyocytes. We conclude that CMV infection differentially affects the viability of cardiac cells.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience
- Cell Biology
- Cancer Research