Viral infection and neural stem/progenitor cell's fate: Implications in brain development and neurological disorders

Sulagna Das, Anirban Basu

Research output: Contribution to journalShort survey

26 Scopus citations

Abstract

Viral infections in the prenatal (during pregnancy) and perinatal period have been a common cause of brain malformation. Besides the immediate neurological dysfunctions, virus infections may critically affect CNS development culminating in long-term cognitive deficits. Most of these neurotropic viruses are most damaging at a critical stage of the host, when the brain is in a dynamic stage of development. The neuropathology can be attributed to the massive neuronal loss induced by the virus as well as lack of CNS repair owing to a deficit in the neural stem/progenitor cell (NSPC) pool or aberrant formation of new neurons from NSPCs. Being one of the mitotically active populations in the post natal brain, the NSPCs have emerged as the potential targets of neurotropic viruses. The NSPCs are self-renewing and multipotent cells residing in the neurogenic niches of the brain, and, therefore, hampering the developmental fate of these cells may adversely affect the overall neurogenesis pattern. A number of neurotropic viruses utilize NSPCs as their cellular reservoirs and often establish latent and persistent infection in them. Both HIV and Herpes virus infect NSPCs over long periods of time and reactivation of the virus may occur later in life. The virus infected NSPCs either undergoes cell cycle arrest or impaired neuronal or glial differentiation, all of which leads to impaired neurogenesis. The disturbances in neurogenesis and CNS development following neurotropic virus infections have direct implications in the viral pathogenesis and long-term neurobehavioral outcome in infected individuals.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)357-366
Number of pages10
JournalNeurochemistry International
Volume59
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 2011
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Brain development
  • Neural stem cells
  • Neuro-degeneration
  • Neurobehavioral sequelae
  • Neurotropic virus
  • Progenitor cells

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience
  • Cell Biology

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