Reyan Coskun (MSTP in PhD training)

  • Indianapolis, Indiana

  • Indiana University-Bloomington (2019)

  • Immunology

  • Jeffrey I. Gordon, M.D.

  • Malnourished gut microbiome’s effect on SARS-CoV-2 pathogenesis during pregnancy

  • reyan@wustl.edu

Research

This past summer I rotated in the lab of Dr. Mike Diamond, investigating fetal-maternal immune defense against Zika virus (ZIKV). ZIKV is a positive-sense RNA virus from the Flaviviridae family, transmitted through an insect vector (Aedes mosquitos). When pregnant women are infected, ZIKV has the ability to cause microcephaly, congenital malformations, and fetal demise. Most ZIKV mouse models have relied on immunodeficient mice (e.g. Ifnar1 +/- or -/-,  anti-IFNAR mAb), since ZIKV’s NS5 protein cannot degrade mouse STAT2. But even models using immunocompetent WT mice either used extremely high viral loads (PFU ~ 1010) or neonatal mice with undeveloped immune systems. Thus, there is a need to compare pathogenesis and maternal-fetal immunity between immunodeficient mutant mice and immunocompetent WT mice. My rotation project involved 1) analyzing placental morphology at different infection and placental/fetal developmental timepoints with in situ hybridization (ISH) and 2) determining cell types ZIKV infects and recruits based on fluorescent ISH (FISH) in an immunocompetent mouse model. Using a mouse-adapted ZIKV strain developed by the lab, we found that ZIKV can significantly alter placental morphology and infect specific trophoblast and myeloid-lineage cells within different placental zones.

Last Updated: 8/29/2019 12:05:00 PM

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