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J Neurovirol. 2002 Oct;8(5):365-80.

Reovirus-induced neuronal apoptosis is mediated by caspase 3 and is associated with the activation of death receptors.

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Neuroscience Program, University of Colorado Health Sciences Center, Denver, Colorado 80262, USA.


Reovirus infection of the central nervous system (CNS) is an important experimental system for understanding the pathogenesis of neurotropic viral infection. Infection of neonatal mice with T3 reoviruses causes lethal encephalitis in which injury results from virus-induced apoptosis. We now show that this apoptosis in vivo is associated with activation of caspase 3, and use neuroblastoma and primary neuronal cultures to identify the cellular pathways involved. Reovirus-induced apoptosis in neuronal cultures is initiated by activation of the tumor necrosis factor (TNF) receptor superfamily death receptors and is inhibited by treatment with soluble death receptors (DRs). The DR-associated initiator caspase, caspase 8, is activated following infection, this activation is inhibited by a cell-permeable peptide inhibitor (IETD-CHO). In contrast to our previous findings in non-neuronal cell lines, reovirus-induced neuronal apoptosis is not accompanied by significant release of cytochrome c from the mitochondria or with caspase 9 activation following infection. This suggests that in neuronal cells, unlike their non-neuronal counterparts, the mitochondria-mediated apoptotic pathway associated with cytochrome c release and caspase 9 activation does not play a significant role in augmenting reovirus-induced apoptosis. Consistent with these results, peptide caspase inhibitors show a hierarchy of efficacy in inhibiting reovirus-induced apoptosis, with inhibitors of caspase 3 > caspase 8 >>> caspase 9. These studies provide a comprehensive profile of the pattern of virus-induced apoptotic pathway activation in neuronal culture.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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