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J Neuroimmunol. 2006 Mar;172(1-2):9-17. Epub 2005 Dec 2.

Acute morphine exposure potentiates the development of HSV-1-induced encephalitis.

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  • 1Department of Microbiology and Immunology, 575 Elmwood Ave., University of Rochester, Rochester, NY 14621, United States.


A devastating consequence of HSV-1 infection is development of HSV-1-induced encephalitis (HSVE). While only a minority of individuals infected with HSV-1 experiences HSVE, clearly defined variables that consistently predict development of the disease remain to be elucidated. The current study examined the effects of a single dose of morphine prior to infection with HSV-1 on the development of HSVE in BALB/cByJ mice. Acute morphine exposure was observed to potentiate the development of HSVE in HSV-1 infected mice. The present data implicate a potential role for the blood-brain barrier in the development of HSVE in morphine-treated mice.

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