Age-related changes in susceptibility of rat brain slice cultures including hippocampus to encephalomyocarditis virus

Int J Exp Pathol. 1999 Dec;80(6):349-55. doi: 10.1046/j.1365-2613.1999.00133.x.


Replication of the D variant of encephalomyocarditis virus (EMC-D) and its cytopathic effects were studied in the brain slice cultures including hippocampus (hippocampal slice) obtained from postnatal 1-, 4-, 7-, 14-, 28-and 56-day-old Fischer 344 rats. At 0, 12, 24, 36 and 48 h after infection, virus titres of the slices and culture media were assayed. Viral replication was observed in cultures from 1-to 28-day-old rats, and the highest titre was recorded in the slice and culture medium from the youngest rat. The peak of virus titre decreased with age and no distinct viral replication was observed in the cultures from 56-day-old rats. Light microscopy revealed that degenerative and necrotic changes appeared in the infected hippocampal slices from 1- to 28-day-old rats, and the changes became less prominent with age. In situ hybridization and indirect immunofluorescence staining showed that positive signals of viral RNA and antigen were prominent in younger rats and decreased with age. These results suggest that an age-related decrease in the susceptibility of rat brain to EMC-D is less related to the maturation of the immune system but possibly to that of the neurone.

MeSH terms

  • Aging*
  • Animals
  • Antigens, Viral / analysis
  • Culture Techniques
  • Disease Susceptibility
  • Encephalomyocarditis virus / growth & development*
  • Encephalomyocarditis virus / immunology
  • Fluorescent Antibody Technique, Indirect
  • Hippocampus / pathology
  • Hippocampus / virology*
  • In Situ Hybridization
  • RNA, Viral / analysis
  • Rats
  • Rats, Inbred F344
  • Virus Replication


  • Antigens, Viral
  • RNA, Viral