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Brain Res. 1991 Sep 27;560(1-2):193-200.

Effect of Herpes simplex virus infection on the trigeminal jaw-opening reflex in guinea pigs.

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UCLA School of Dentistry 90024.


Herpes simplex virus (HSV) infection induces numerous electrophysiological and microscopic changes in neurons in vitro. To investigate the effect of HSV infection on in vivo neuronal activity, we induced an acute, latent and reactivated HSV infection of the trigeminal ganglia of guinea pigs through orofacial HSV inoculation and studied its effect on the trigeminal jaw-opening reflex of anesthetized guinea pigs. During the acute viral infection period both the threshold for elicitation of the reflex, and the latency to the onset of the reflex response were increased. During the latent viral infection in the trigeminal ganglia, the jaw-opening reflexes in the viral infected animals were not different from those of non-infected control animals. However, reactivation of the latent viral infection in these animals resulted in increases in both the threshold and latency of the jaw-opening reflex. These changes were similar to those found in animals with the acute viral infection. These results indicate that acute or reactivated latent HSV infection of the nervous system results in functional changes in the reflex pathways involving the trigeminal gasserian ganglia and brainstem neurons harboring infectious HSV-1.

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