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J Infect Dis. 2002 Dec 1;186 Suppl 2:S171-9.

Glial cell responses to herpesvirus infections: role in defense and immunopathogenesis.

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Neuroimmunology Laboratory, Minneapolis Medical Research Foundation, 914 S. 8th Street, Bldg. D-3, Minneapolis, MN 55404, USA.


Glial cells can respond to herpesvirus infections through the production of cytokines and chemokines. Although specific interactions between resident glia and lymphocytes that infiltrate the infected brain remain to be defined, the presence of T cell chemotactic signals in microglial cell supernatants following infection with cytomegalovirus or herpes simplex virus has led to the concept that chemokines initiate a cascade of neuroimmune responses that result in defense of the brain against herpesviruses. While chemokines may play a defensive role by attracting T cells into the brain, aberrant accumulation of lymphocytes may also induce brain damage. Host defense mechanisms must balance control of herpesvirus spread with associated undesirable immunopathologic effects. A growing body of evidence suggests that through complex networks of chemokines and cytokines produced in response to herpesvirus infection, glial cells orchestrate a cascade of events that result in successful defense of or damage to the brain.

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