- Dec 2017
This work suggests that high MSI1 expression levels in neural precursors could be a key contributor to the fetal neurotropism exhibited by ZIKV
Brault and colleagues (2016) recognized that microcephaly is associated with Zika within South American and French Polynesia. After infecting mouse embryonic brain slices with Zika virus, an assay revealed that Zika virus impairs neural stem cell growth and can inhibit apoptosis at early infection stages. Thus, Zika virus prefers neural stem cells to infect.
Intriguingly, MSI1 is also highly expressed in the retina and testis, other tissues deemed vulnerable to ZIKV infection
Lazear, Govero, Smith, Platt, Fernandez, Miner, Diamond (2016) studied the disease development of zika virus in different types of knockout mice. The knockout mice that had no functioning interferon pathways were the mice that picked up the disease. It was also observed that zik virus was found in the highest viral load in the testes of affected male mice.