The Possible Link Between Herpes Simplex Virus Type 1 Infection and Neurodegeneration
Herpes simplex virus type 1 and type 2 (HSV-1 and HSV-2) are ubiquitous, neurotropic, and the most common pathogenic cause of sporadic acute encephalitis in humans. Herpes simplex encephalitis is associated with a high mortality rate and significant neurological sequelae, which afflict patients for life. HSV-1 has been suggested as an environmental risk factor for Alzheimer’s disease. However, the link between HSV-1 infection and neurodegenerative processes is still unclear. It has been proposed that the innate immune response to the virus particularly the activation of Toll-like receptor pathways in astrocytes and microglia could lead to neurodegeneration. Finally, we have also shown that in vitro HSV-1 neuronal infection triggers a change in the hyperphosphorylation state of tau and also results in marked neuritic damage and neuronal death.
KeywordsMicroglial Cell Herpes Simplex Encephalitis Neurodegenerative Damage Significant Neurological Sequela Mouse Neuronal Culture
The authors would like to thank Ilona Concha, Ph.D. for her comments. The study referred was financially supported by Grant 14060/05 from Fundación Andes, S-2007-62 from DID-UACH and MECESUP AUS0107.
- 4.Itzhaki R (2004) Herpes simplex virus type 1, apolipoprotein E and Alzheimer’ disease. Herpes 2:77A–82AGoogle Scholar
- 9.Bertrand P, Guillaume D, Hellauer K (1993) Distribution of Herpes simplex virus type 1 DNA in selected areas of normal and Alzheimer’s disease brains: a PCR study. Neurodegeneration 2:201–208Google Scholar
- 17.Zambrano A, Solis L, Salvadores N et al (2008) Neuronal cytoskeletal dynamic modification and neurodegeneration induced by infection with herpes simplex virus type 1. J Alzheimers Dis 14:in pressGoogle Scholar
- 32.Larsen PH, Holm TH, Owens T (2007) Toll-like receptors in brain development and homeostasis. Sci STKE 402:47Google Scholar