Herpes simplex virus (HSV) is known to replicate within the limbic system and to alter behavior in both humans and experimental animals. However, the reason why the virus selectively damages this anatomical, developmental, and functional neural unit remains a mystery. Nor is it known why herpes simplex encephalitis fails to respect these neuroanatomical boundaries in newborns. In the present study, the authors determined the spatiotemporal changes in the distribution of the major neural entry receptor for HSV (nectin-1) in postnatal mouse and rat brains. Discrete nectin-1 immunopositivity was observed in regions susceptible to HSV infection in specific developmental phases of central nervous system. The authors also describe nectin-1-related pathways controlling neuronal cell migration/brain morphogenesis, the disruption of which might lead to the emergence of mental disorders with a rapid cognitive decline.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Clinical Neurology
- Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience