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Lawrence DM, Patterson CE, Gales TL, D'Orazio JL, Vaughn MM, Rall GF
Measles virus spread between neurons requires cell contact but not CD46 expression, syncytium formation, or extracellular virus production
J Virol (2000) 74:1908-18.
Abstract
In patients with subacute sclerosing panencephalitis (SSPE), which is associated with persistent measles virus (MV) infection in the brain, little infectious virus can be recovered despite the presence of viral RNA and protein. Based on studies of brain tissue from SSPE patients and our work with MV-infected NSE-CD46(+) mice, which express the measles receptor CD46 on neurons, several lines of evidence suggest that the mechanism of viral spread in the central nervous system differs from that in nonneuronal cells. To examine this alternate mechanism of viral spread, as well as the basis for the loss of normal transmission mechanisms, infection and spread of MV Edmonston was evaluated in primary CD46(+) neurons from transgenic mice and differentiated human NT2 neurons. As expected, unlike that between fibroblasts, viral spread between neurons occurred in the absence of syncytium formation and with minimal extracellular virus. Electron microscopy analysis showed that viral budding did not occur from the neuronal surface, although nucleocapsids were present in the cytoplasm and aligned at the cell membrane. We observed many examples of nucleocapsids present in the neuronal processes and aligned at presynaptic neuronal membranes. Cocultures of CD46(+) and CD46(-) neurons showed that cell contact but not CD46 expression is required for MV spread between neurons. Collectively, these results suggest that the neuronal environment prevents the normal mechanisms of MV spread between neurons at the level of viral assembly but allows an alternate, CD46-independent mechanism of viral transmission, possibly through the synapse.
Note
Publication Date: 2000-02-01.
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