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More MS news articles for March 2003

Murine gammaherpesvirus-68 infects microglia and induces high levels of pro-inflammatory cytokine production

J Neuroimmunol 2003 Mar;136(1-2):75-83
Taylor WR, Rasley A, Bost KL, Marriott I.
Department of Biology, University of North Carolina at Charlotte, 9201 University City Boulevard, 28223, Charlotte, NC, USA

Murine gammaherpesvirus-68 (MHV-68) has been established as a tractable model for the study of human herpesvirus infections.

Recent associations between herpesvirus infections and inflammatory central nervous system (CNS) disorders, including multiple sclerosis (MS), have prompted us to investigate the susceptibility of cultured microglia and astrocytes to MHV-68 infection.

In the present study, we demonstrate that MHV-68 can infect both cell types.

Importantly, we show that MHV-68-infected microglia and astrocytes can produce pro-inflammatory cytokines.

Such cytokine production may either contribute to protective host responses to viral challenges or could exacerbate damaging CNS inflammation.