Sartorius eBook - 19

THE FUTURE OF DRUG DISCOVERY: LIVE 3D CELL ANALYSIS

Joep Beumer, Hubrecht Institute

Intestinal organoids, the right one infected with coronavirus sars-cov-2. The coronavirus is colored white, the
organoids themselves are colored blue and green.

intestine is loaded with ACE2 receptors. However,

SARS-CoV-2. To see if the cells actually experienced

it has been unclear whether intestinal cells could

infection, the scientists observed them closely, as

get infected and produce virus particles.

described in an article ("SARS-CoV-2 productively

To explore the possibility of an intestinal route,
scientists in the Netherlands generated human
small intestinal organoids (hSIOs) derived from

infects human gut enterocytes") that appeared
May 1 in the journal Science.
"In hSIOs, enterocytes were readily infected by

primary gut epithelial stem cells. The scientists-

SARS-CoV and SARS-CoV-2 as demonstrated by

who represented-Hubrecht Institute, Erasmus

confocal and electron microscopy," the article's

University Medical Center, and Maastricht

authors wrote. "Consequently, significant titers

University-asserted that such hSIOs contain all

of infectious viral particles were detected. mRNA

the proliferative and differentiated cell types of

expression analysis revealed strong induction of a

the in vivo epithelium.

generic viral response program."

When grown in four different culture

Essentially, the scientists discovered that

conditions, the hSIOs contained cells that

the virus infected both mature and progenitor

expressed varying amounts of ACE2 and were

enterocytes, which are intestinal absorptive

thus capable, in theory, of being infected with

epithelial cells that line the inner surface of the

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