The activity within the CA3 excitatory network during Theiler's virus encephalitis is distinct from that observed during chronic epilepsy

J Neurovirol. 2012 Feb;18(1):30-44. doi: 10.1007/s13365-012-0082-5. Epub 2012 Feb 11.


Viral infections of the central nervous system (CNS) are associated with an increased risk for seizures during the acute infection period and the subsequent development of chronic epilepsy that is often difficult to treat. In previous work, we have shown that mice of the C57BL/6 strain infected with Theiler's murine encephalomyelitis virus (TMEV) exhibit a similar sequence, thereby providing a potential useful model of virus-induced epilepsy. The present study examines spontaneous and miniature excitatory postsynaptic currents in CA3 pyramidal cells recorded from brain slices prepared during both the acute phase during encephalitis and 2 months following TMEV infection. Animals that develop chronic epilepsy following TMEV infection exhibit considerable hippocampal sclerosis, directly implicating this brain region in the process of epileptogenesis. There are significant increases in amplitude and frequency of spontaneous and miniature excitatory currents in CA3 cells recorded in brain slices prepared during the acute infection period and 2 months after infection. However, the patterns of changes observed are markedly different during these two periods, suggesting that there are underlying changes in the network over time. These differences have implications for the treatment used during the acute infection and after chronic seizures develop.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Acute Disease
  • Animals
  • CA3 Region, Hippocampal / physiopathology*
  • CA3 Region, Hippocampal / virology
  • Chronic Disease
  • Disease Models, Animal
  • Encephalitis / complications
  • Encephalitis / physiopathology*
  • Encephalitis / virology
  • Epilepsy / complications
  • Epilepsy / physiopathology*
  • Epilepsy / virology
  • Excitatory Postsynaptic Potentials
  • Male
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred C57BL
  • Seizures / complications
  • Seizures / physiopathology*
  • Seizures / virology
  • Theilovirus*
  • Time Factors