Editors' ChoiceVirology

Rotavirus Infections Increases Intracellular Calcium

STKE  22 Feb 2000:
Vol. 2000, Issue 20, pp. tw4
DOI: 10.1126/stke.2000.20.tw4

Rotaviruses cause many cases of viral gastroenteritis in children and animals. Brunet et al. found that rotavirus infected CaCo-2 cells exhibited elevated concentration of free intracellular calcium [Ca2+]i, which lead to disorganization of the microvillar actin cytoskeleton. Rotavirus induced disorganization of the microvillar actin cytoskeleton was completely blocked by calcium chelators. The increase in [Ca2+]i occurred via both increased calcium flux across the plasma membrane and increased release from the endoplasmic reticulum. The infected cells exhibited a two-phase alteration in calcium regulation. Part of the increase in [Ca2+]i was due to the actions of a factor secreted by the infected cells, because supernatant from infected cells was capable of increasing [Ca2+]i in uninfected cells by a phospholipase C-dependent mechanism. The authors suggest that the diarrhea associated with Rotavirus infection may arise from the calcium-induced disruption of the microvillae leading to decreased nutrient digestion and absorption.

Brunet, J.-P., Cotte-Laffitte, J., Linxe, C., Quero, A.-M., Géniteau-Legendre, M., and Servin, A. (2000) Rotavirus infection induces an increase in intracellular calcium concentration in human intestinal epithelial cells: Role for microvillar actin alteration. J. Virol. 74: 2323-2332. [Abstract] [Full Text]