Tel. +49 30 838 51833 Fax. +49 30 838 451847
Virus-host cell interactions are most commonly analyzed in cells maintained in vitro as two-dimensional tissue cultures. However, these in vitro conditions vary quite drastically from the tissues that are commonly infected in vivo. Over the years, a number of systems have been developed that allow the establishment of three-dimensional (3D) tissue structures that have properties similar to their in vivo 3D counterparts. These 3D systems have numerous applications including drug testing, maintenance of large tissue explants, monitoring migration of human lymphocytes in tissues, analysis of human organ tissue development and investigation of virus-host interactions including viral latency. Here, we describe the establishment of tissue-like assemblies for human lung and neuronal tissue that we infected with a variety of viruses including the respiratory pathogens human parainfluenza virus type 3 (PIV3), respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) and SARS corona virus (SARS-CoV) as well as the human neurotropic herpesvirus, varicella-zoster virus (VZV).