Coxsackievirus Group B Replication in Cultured Fetal Baboon Aortic Smooth Muscle Cells



All six coxsackievirus B (CVB) serotypes replicated to various extents in fetal baboon aortic smooth muscle cells (SMC) in culture. CVB3 and CVB4 replicated to the highest titers and induced no cytopathology at the level of light microscopy. Maximum yields of CVB3 were produced between 12 and 24 hr postinoculation. Up to 15% of SMC cells became infected, as determined by immunofluorescence assays with anti-CVB3 antiserum, yet overall cell division in infected cultures did not differ from infected SMC cultures. Electron microscopy of CVB3-inoculated SMC cultures revealed changes in some cells: viruslike particles, secondary lysosomes containing dense bodies, and peripheral nuclear chromatin condensation. CVB3 replicated well in SMC passages up to the eighth, but did not replicate in eleventh-passage cells. Because of the cardiotropic and myotropic potential of this virus and its ability to replicate in aortic SMC with associated ultrastructural alterations, CVB3 (and other CVB) should be further examined as an etiologic agent(s) that could induce atherosclerosis.