The Role of Astrocytes, Microglia, and Endothelial Cells in Coronavirus-Induced Demyelination

Induction of cytokines and other signaling mechanisms
  • Yun Li
  • Ehud Lavi


Infection of neurotropic strains of coronaviruses in susceptible animals results in acute encephalomyelitis followed by a chronic demyelinating disease, similar to multiple sclerosis (MS). Although the mechanism of chronic coronavirus-induced demyelination is not entirely clear, studies show that it is mostly immune-mediated. Astrocytes, microglia and endothelial cells play an important role in normal functions as well as in immunologic and pathologic processes in the central nervous system (CNS). The interaction between coronaviruses and these cells induces various inflammatory mediators including cytokines, chemokines, MHC and NO, which acting in concert are involved in the pathogenesis of demyelination.

Key words

astrocytes microglia endothelial cells coronavirus demyelination 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, Inc. 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  • Yun Li
    • 1
  • Ehud Lavi
    • 2
  1. 1.Division of neuropathology, Department of Pathology and Laboratory MedicineUniversity of Pennsylvania, School of MedicinePhiladelphia
  2. 2.Department of Pathology and Laboratory MedicineWeill Medical College of Cornell UniversityNew York

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