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J Gen Virol. 2003 Jul;84(Pt 7):1729-35.

Common host genes are activated in mouse brain by Japanese encephalitis and rabies viruses.

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Department of Biochemistry, Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore 560012, India.


This study identified nine genes whose expression is upregulated in the central nervous system (CNS) of mice during Japanese encephalitis virus (JEV) infection. These include: cathepsin S, oligoadenylate synthetase (OAS), GARG49/IRG2, lymphocyte antigen-6A (Ly-6A), macrophage activation gene-2 (Mpa2), early growth response gene1 (Egr1), pyrimidine 5'-nucleotidase (P5N), apolipoprotein D (ApoD) and STAT1. Activation of all nine genes during JEV infection was confirmed by Northern blot analysis. JEV replication was inhibited in the majority of mice immunized with Biken JEV vaccine, and these mice also exhibited reduced expression of JEV-inducible CNS genes. Thus, there is a good correlation between virus load and upregulation of host CNS genes. It was also demonstrated that all the CNS genes activated by JEV are also upregulated during rabies virus infection. In addition, GARG49, STAT1, cathepsin S and ApoD are known to be upregulated in the CNS by Sindbis virus, an alphavirus, and this supports the proposal that common host cell pathways are activated in the CNS by different neurotropic viruses.

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