Borna Disease Virus Infects Human Neural Progenitor Cells and Impairs Neurogenesis

INRA, ANSES, ENVA, UMR 1161, Maisons Alfort, France.
Journal of Virology (Impact Factor: 4.44). 12/2011; 86(5):2512-22. DOI: 10.1128/JVI.05663-11
Source: PubMed


Understanding the complex mechanisms by which infectious agents can disrupt behavior represents a major challenge. The Borna
disease virus (BDV), a potential human pathogen, provides a unique model to study such mechanisms. Because BDV induces neurodegeneration
in brain areas that are still undergoing maturation at the time of infection, we tested the hypothesis that BDV interferes
with neurogenesis. We showed that human neural stem/progenitor cells are highly permissive to BDV, although infection does
not alter their survival or undifferentiated phenotype. In contrast, upon the induction of differentiation, BDV is capable
of severely impairing neurogenesis by interfering with the survival of newly generated neurons. Such impairment was specific
to neurogenesis, since astrogliogenesis was unaltered. In conclusion, we demonstrate a new mechanism by which BDV might impair
neural function and brain plasticity in infected individuals. These results may contribute to a better understanding of behavioral
disorders associated with BDV infection.

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