Rainbow trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss) muscle satellite cells are targets of salmonid alphavirus infection

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Abstract

Sleeping disease in rainbow trout is characterized by an abnormal swimming behaviour of the fish which stay on their side at the bottom of the tanks. This sign is due to extensive necrosis and atrophy of red skeletal muscle induced by the sleeping disease virus (SDV), also called salmonid alphavirus 2. Infections of humans with arthritogenic alphaviruses, such as Chikungunya virus (CHIKV), are global causes of debilitating musculoskeletal diseases. The mechanisms by which the virus causes these pathologies are poorly understood due to the restrictive availability of animal models capable of reproducing the full spectrum of the disease. Nevertheless, it has been shown that CHIKV exhibits a particular tropism for muscle stem cells also known as satellite cells. Thus, SDV and its host constitute a relevant model to study in details the virus-induced muscle atrophy, the pathophysiological consequences of the infection of a particular cell-type in the skeletal muscle, and the regeneration of the muscle tissue in survivors together with the possible virus persistence. To study a putative SDV tropism for that particular cell type, we established an in vivo and ex vivo rainbow trout model of SDV-induced atrophy of the skeletal muscle. This experimental model allows reproducing the full panel of clinical signs observed during a natural infection since the transmission of the virus is arthropod-borne independent. The virus tropism in the muscle tissue was studied by immunohistochemistry together with the kinetics of the muscle atrophy, and the muscle regeneration post-infection was observed. In parallel, an ex vivo model of SDV infection of rainbow trout satellite cells was developed and virus replication and persistence in that particular cell type was followed up to 73 days post-infection. These results constitute the first observation of a specific SDV tropism for the muscle satellite cells.

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Biacchesi, S., Jouvion, G., Mérour, E., Boukadiri, A., Desdouits, M., Ozden, S., … Brémont, M. (2016). Rainbow trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss) muscle satellite cells are targets of salmonid alphavirus infection. Veterinary Research, 47(1). https://doi.org/10.1186/s13567-015-0301-1

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