Apoptosis of endothelial cell line ECV304 persistently infected with Orientia tsutsugamushi

Mee Kyung Kim, Sun Ho Kee, Kyung A. Cho, Moon Hyun Chung, Byung Uk Lim, Woo Hyun Chang, Jae Seung Kang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

30 Citations (Scopus)


Endothelial cells are major targets of Orientia tsutsugamushi. To examine the consequences of the infection of endothelial cells with O, tsutsugamushi, we used human endothelial cell line ECV304. Persistent infection was established and infected cultures could be maintained for over seven months without the addition of normal cells. The heavily infected Cells became round and floated in the culture medium, harboring large numbers of organisms inside them. Some of the infected ECV304 cells showed features of apoptotic cells, as determined by the terminal deoxytransferase-mediated dUTP nick end-labeling reaction and DNA fragmentation. We also found that O. tsutsugamushi increased transcription of the mRNAs of proinflammatory cytokines such as IL-6 and IL-8. These resUlts show the first evidence of in vitro-persistent infection by O. tsutsugamushi, which may be related to in vivo persistence reported previously.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)751-757
Number of pages7
JournalMicrobiology and Immunology
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - 1999


  • Apoptosis
  • Orientia tsutsugamushi
  • Persistent infection

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Microbiology
  • Immunology
  • Virology


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