Ultrastructure of herpes simplex virus infection of the nervous system of mice
The nervous system and small intestine of mice infected with herpes simplex virus were examined by electron microscopy from the viewpoint of virus-host interaction.
The host cells examined included the neuron, astrocyte, oligodendrocyte, and Schwann cell. The susceptibility of the latter was not less than that of the neuron. The endothelial cell, perineural fibrocyte and smooth muscle cell were also host cells. Replication of herpes virus in the nervous system was proven to be identical to that occurringin vitro; initial reproduction of nucleocapsids in the nucleus and subsequent maturation at the nuclear membrane with envelope formation, followed by discharge into the cytoplasmic reticular cavities and finally release from the host cell. Inconsistency in the distribution of virus particles and viral antigen was chiefly concerned with the host cell nucleus and the glial cytoplasm.
Herpes virions, though few, were identified in the axons of peripheral nerves, and in the periaxonal space of myelinated fibres in the brain and the nerve ganglia. Virions were present in tiny vesicles in the perikarya or as naked particles. In the distal parts of peripheral nerve, there was marked dissociation in the amount of virions between Schwann cells and the axon. The significance of the endoneural space and the axon in the neural speread of infection is discussed briefly.
Key wordsHerpes simplex Virus Ultrastructure Viral Infection Virus-Host Interaction Nervous System
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