Two alpha-herpesvirus strains are transported differentially in the rodent visual system

Neuron. 1991 Jun;6(6):957-69. doi: 10.1016/0896-6273(91)90236-s.


Uptake and transneuronal passage of wild-type and attenuated strains of a swine alpha-herpesvirus (pseudorabies [PRV]) were examined in rat visual projections. Both strains of virus infected subpopulations of retinal ganglion cells and passed transneuronally to infect retino-recipient neurons in the forebrain. However, the location of infected forebrain neurons varied with the strain of virus. Intravitreal injection of wild-type virus produced two temporally separated waves of infection that eventually reached all known retino-recipient regions of the central neuraxis. By contrast, the attenuated strain of PRV selectively infected a functionally distinct subset of retinal ganglion cells with restricted central projections. The data indicate that projection-specific groups of ganglion cells are differentially susceptible to the two strains of virus and suggest that this sensitivity may be receptor mediated.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Axonal Transport
  • Brain / microbiology*
  • Cell Line
  • Herpesvirus 1, Suid / pathogenicity
  • Herpesvirus 1, Suid / physiology*
  • Male
  • Neurons / microbiology*
  • Pseudorabies / physiopathology*
  • Rats
  • Rats, Inbred Strains
  • Retina / microbiology*
  • Species Specificity
  • Swine
  • Time Factors
  • Virulence
  • Visual Pathways / microbiology*