Practical considerations for the use of pseudorabies virus in transneuronal studies of neural circuitry

Neurosci Biobehav Rev. 1998 Oct;22(6):685-94. doi: 10.1016/s0149-7634(98)00007-4.


The development of neurotrophic alpha herpesviruses for transneuronal analysis of neuronal circuitry has emerged from interdisciplinary characterizations of the viral life cycle and the defense response mounted by the nervous system to contain and eliminate the infection. Important findings from a number of fields have combined to provide compelling evidence that these viruses, when used appropriately, are powerful probes of multisynaptic circuits. These studies have also revealed that a number of variables can influence the outcome of infection and should be considered in designing and interpreting data derived from studies employing this experimental approach. The purpose of this paper is to review the literature that has established this experimental approach as a viable method for transynaptic analysis of neuronal circuitry and to define the factors that should be considered in applying this technology.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Herpesvirus 1, Suid / physiology*
  • Herpesvirus 1, Suid / ultrastructure
  • Humans
  • Nerve Net / pathology
  • Nerve Net / physiology
  • Nerve Net / virology*
  • Neurons / pathology
  • Neurons / physiology
  • Neurons / virology*
  • Neurophysiology / methods*
  • Pseudorabies / pathology
  • Pseudorabies / physiopathology*
  • Pseudorabies / virology