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Brain Pathology


The possibility that the etiology of late onset Alzheimer's disease is linked to viral infections of the CNS has been actively debated in recent years. According to the antiviral protection hypothesis, viral pathogens trigger aggregation of Aβ peptides that are produced as a defense mechanism in response to infection to entrap and neutralize pathogens. To test the causative relationship between viral infection and Aβ aggregation, the current study examined whether Aβ plaques protect the mouse brain against Herpes Simplex Virus 1 (HSV-1) infection introduced via a physiological route and whether HSV-1 infection triggers formation of Aβ plaques in a mouse model of late-onset AD that does not develop Aβ pathology spontaneously. In aged 5XFAD mice infected via eye scarification, high density of Aβ aggregates did not improve survival time or rate when compared with wild type controls. In 5XFADs, viral replication sites were found in brain areas with a high density of extracellular Aβ deposits, however, no association between HSV-1 and Aβ aggregates could be found. To test whether HSV-1 triggers Aβ aggregation in a mouse model that lacks spontaneous Aβ pathology, 13-month-old hAβ/APOE4/Trem2*R47H mice were infected with HSV-1 via eye scarification with the McKrae HSV-1 strain, intracranial inoculation with McKrae, intracranial inoculation after priming with LPS for 6 weeks, or intracranial inoculation with high doses of McKrae or 17syn + strains that represent different degrees of neurovirulence. No signs of Aβ aggregation were found in any of the experimental groups. Instead, extensive infiltration of peripheral leukocytes was observed during the acute stage of HSV-1 infection, and phagocytic activity of myeloid cells was identified as the primary defense mechanism against HSV-1. The current results argue against a direct causative relationship between HSV-1 infection and Aβ pathology.


Mice, Animals, Alzheimer Disease, Herpesvirus 1, Human, Amyloid beta-Peptides, Herpes Simplex, Brain, Mice, Transgenic, Disease Models, Animal, Membrane Glycoproteins, Receptors, Immunologic

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