, Volume 147, Issue 6, pp 1189-1195

Building a mouse model hallmarking the congenital human cytomegalovirus infection in central nervous system

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 To investigate the mechanisms that human cytomegalovirus (HCMV) can vertically transmit from the placenta of mice to infect their offspring in the central nervous system (CNS) and cause congenital anomalies, and in order to provide basic research for preparing HCMV vaccine, we have developed a new type of mouse model of HCMV congenital CNS infection. Pure strain mice were propagated after being infected with HCMV. Then the degree of infection by HCMV to offspring was determined. The experiment shows that in the infection groups the mortality of fetal mice and the fatality of neonatal mice in one week are higher than that of the control groups (P ≤ 0.05). At the same time we investigated the CNS of fetus’s mice whose mothers were infected by HCMV. Our results showed: 1. The virus was successfully isolated from their cerebral cortex. 2. The signal of HCMV hybridization print was found in their nervous cell through in situ hybridization. 3. Especially human herpes virus-like particles and inclusion bodies in the plasm of nerve cell were found in the tissue of their brain under the electron microscope. This new type of mouse model of HCMV inherent CNS infection will help prepare HCMV vaccine and research HCMV congenital infection in CNS.

Received September 21, 2001; accepted January 14, 2002¶Published online April 22, 2002