Borna disease virus-induced hippocampal dentate gyrus damage is associated with spatial learning and memory deficits

Steven A. Rubin, Peter Sylves, Michael Vogel, Michael Pletnikov, Timothy H. Moran, Gray J. Schwartz, Kathryn M. Carbone

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

63 Scopus citations

Abstract

In neonatally inoculated rats, Borna disease virus (BDV) leads to a persistent infection of the brain in the absence of an inflammatory response and is associated with neuroanatomic, developmental, physiologic, and behavioral abnormalities. One of the most dramatic sites of BDV-associated damage in the neonatal rat brain is the dentate gyrus, a neuroanatomic region believed to play a major role in spatial learning and memory. The absence of a generalized inflammatory response to neonatal BDV infection permits direct effects of viral damage to the dentate gyrus to be examined. In this report, neonatally BDV-infected rats at various stages of dentate gyrus degeneration were evaluated in the Morris water maze, a swimming test that assesses the rats' capacity to navigate by visual cues. Our data demonstrate progressive spatial learning and memory deficits in BDV-infected rats that coincided with a gradual decline in the estimated hippocampal dentate gyrus neuron density.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)23-30
Number of pages8
JournalBrain Research Bulletin
Volume48
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 1999
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Behavior
  • Brain
  • Morris water maze
  • Rat
  • Virus

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)

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