Japanese Journal of Veterinary Research;Volume 56, Number 4

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In vitro propagation of rabies virus in mouse dorsal root ganglia cells

Hara, Yoko;Sunden, Yuji;Ochiai, Kenji;Umemura, Takashi

Permalink : http://hdl.handle.net/2115/38094
JaLCDOI : 10.14943/jjvr.56.4.181
KEYWORDS : dorsal root ganglia;neural spread;rabies virus

Abstract

Rabies virus (RV) is highly neurotropic and migrates to the neuronal soma by retrograde axonal transport from nerve terminals, after which it is taken by anterograde axonal transport to be finally released into the central nervous system (CNS) from which it disseminates, resulting in lethal encephalitis. Dorsal root ganglia (DRG) are crucial in the initial events of the infection by RV since they can act as a gate for the viral entrance into the CNS. In the present study, we examined cell tropism of RV and the roles of neuronal cytoskeletal components in the production of viral nucleoprotein (N protein) using cultured nerve cells and non-neuronal cells from DRG of newborn mice. Our in vitro study demonstrated a low propagation rate of RV in nerve cells, susceptibility of non-neuronal cells to RV, and independence of cytoplasmic synthesis of viral N protein from the neuronal cytoskeleton. The present study also suggests that Schwann cells should be considered as another possible candidate supporting RV propagation.

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