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J Neurovirol. 1999 Apr;5(2):140-50.

Differential anterograde transport of HSV type 1 viral strains in the murine optic pathway.

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Department of Cell and Neurobiology, University of Southern California School of Medicine, Los Angeles 90033, USA.


Active anterograde transport of herpes simplex virus Type 1 (HSV-1) in neurons is often assumed based on early appearance of infection in postsynaptic target cells of a primary infected cell, and is further logically inferred by good evidence of microtubule-motor based mechanisms of retrograde transport. However, direct evidence of mechanisms of anterograde movement of newly synthesized virus in CNS neurons actually has yet to be obtained. In efforts to investigate the latter, we will be greatly aided by viral strains that exhibit differences in their ability to move in an anterograde direction. We compared the anterograde axonal transport of three HSV strains (F strain, H129, and MacIntyre B) in the murine visual system. Equivalent titers of virus were injected intraocularly in BALB/c mice. From 2-6 days after inoculation, segments of the infected optic pathway were harvested and Western blots using an anti-HSV polyclonal antibody performed. H129 traveled very rapidly towards the terminals (3 days post-inoculation). F strain spread more slowly than H129, but also reached terminal regions by 4 days. MacIntyre B accumulated only in the most proximal optic nerve, and was seen only very faintly in distal optic pathway after 5 days. Coincidentally, a single viral protein appeared to be greatly reduced in expression in MacIntyre B. Our results suggest that different viral strains display variability in their capacity to spread anterogradely, and that further comparison of these strains may reveal how virus engages the host cell transport machinery.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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