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Brain Res Bull. 1996;41(6):327-33.

Sorting signals and targeting of infectious agents through axons: an annotation to the 100 years' birth of the name "axon".

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Department of Neuroscience, Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, Sweden.


A brief review is given on mechanisms by which axons may be initiated during development and by which the polarity of neurons is maintained by selective sorting and delivery of molecules to axons and dendrites. The use of viruses as tools to study targeting of newly synthesized proteins to axons is described. Emphasis is then given to the hazards that are presented to the individual by the retrograde transport of infectious agents in axons to the brain. Borna disease virus, prions, and Listeria monocytogenes are examined briefly as examples of these mechanisms. These agents have attracted interest previously in veterinary medicine for the most part, but they may present potential and substantial threats to human health. Such infectious agents also represent a new type of virus, a new principle for disease transmission, and a new mechanism for intracellular transport, respectively.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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