Human rhinovirus (RV) is the most prevalence respiratory virus infection in hospitalized children. RV comprised three species, including RV-A, -B and -C. RV-A and RV-B are the classical RVs first isolated in 1950s, and these two species were also categorized into major and minor group according to their use of intercellular adhesion molecule 1 (ICAM-1) and low-density lipoprotein receptor (LDLR) as the cellular receptor, respectively. RV-C was identified in 2006 while its receptor, cadherin-related family member 3 (CDHR3) was found in 2015. RV-A and RV-B mainly cause self-limiting upper respiratory tract infection while RV-C has an extended niche in causing bronchiolitis, pneumonia and associated with wheezing illness and asthma exacerbation.
The proposed establishment of the 3D human airway spheroid is a unique pseudostratified epithelium model which retains the self-renewal and expansion properties with physiological active cell composition. This makes long term culture and observation possible and fills the gap between cell line and patient studies to understand the RV pathogenesis.
We aim to establish this technique in CUHK and utilize this model to assess the rhinovirus infection in terms of its tissue tropism, replication and possible tissue remodelling.