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Acta Neuropathol. 1997 Jun;93(6):551-7.

Disordered migration and loss of virus-infected neuronal cells in developing mouse brains infected with murine cytomegalovirus.

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2nd Department of Pathology, Hamamatsu University School of Medicine, Japan.


Microcephaly is the most prominent symptom of the developmental brain abnormalities induced by congenital cytomegalovirus (CMV) infection. To investigate the effect of CMV infection on neuronal migration in developing brains, mouse embryos on one side of uteri received, on day 15.5 of gestation (E15.5), an injection of murine CMV (MCMV) into the cerebral ventricles, and the embryos on the other side of the uteri were injected with minimum essential medium (MEM). Labeling with 5-bromo-2-deoxyuridine (BrdU) was accomplished by intraperitoneal injection of BrdU 6 h later. Disturbance of the neuronal migration and loss of neurons were observed postnatally in the brains of MCMV-infected mice, which were identified by immunohistochemical staining of viral antigen. Double staining of BrdU-labeled and viral antigen-positive cells in brains on the 7th postnatal day showed that the migration of BrdU-single-labeled cells, mainly localized in cerebral layers II-III, mostly preceded that of the viral antigen-positive cells. However, about 7.5% of the cells observed were double-labeled, especially in the layers III-IV, and a few double-stained cells were markedly disturbed in migration. In the brains of offspring labeled with BrdU 72 h after infection with MCMV on E15.5, most of the double-stained cells were seen around the ventricular and subventricular zones. These findings suggest that a disturbance of neuronal migration in addition to neuronal loss may play a crucial role in the development of microcephaly in congenital CMV infection in humans.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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