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Two neurotropic viruses, herpes simplex virus type 1 and mouse hepatitis virus, spread along different neural pathways from the main olfactory bulb. Neuroscience 1993 Dec;57(4):1007-25



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Scopus ID

2-s2.0-0027366475 (requires institutional sign-in at Scopus site)   114 Citations


Several neurotropic viruses enter the brain after peripheral inoculation and spread transneuronally along pathways known to be connected to the initial site of entry. In this study, the pathways utilized by two such viruses, herpes simplex virus type 1 and mouse hepatitis virus strain JHM, were compared using in situ hybridization following inoculation into either the nasal cavity or the main olfactory bulb of the mouse. The results indicate that both viruses spread to infect a unique and only partially overlapping set of connections of the main olfactory bulb. Both quantitative and qualitative differences were observed in the patterns of infection of known primary and secondary main olfactory bulb connections. Using immunohistochemistry for tyrosine hydroxylase combined with in situ hybridization, it was shown that only herpes simplex virus infected noradrenergic neurons in the locus coeruleus. In contrast, both viruses infected dopaminergic neurons in the ventral tegmental area, although mouse hepatitis virus produced a more widespread infection in the A10 group, as well as infecting A8 and A9. The results suggest that differential virus uptake in specific neurotransmitter systems contributes to the pattern of viral spread, although other factors, such as differences in access to particular synapses on infected cells and differences in the distribution of the cellular receptor for the two viruses, are also likely to be important. The data show that neural tracing with different viruses may define unique neural pathways from a site of inoculation. The data also demonstrate that two viruses can enter the brain via the olfactory system and localize to different structures, suggesting that neurological diseases involving disparate regions of the brain could be caused by different viruses, even if entry occurred at a common site.

Author List

Barnett EM, Cassell MD, Perlman S


Edward M. Barnett MD, PhD Professor in the Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences department at Medical College of Wisconsin

MESH terms used to index this publication - Major topics in bold

Hepatitis Viruses
In Situ Hybridization
Neural Pathways
Olfactory Bulb