Herpes simplex virus (HSV) types 1 and 2 reactivate from dissociated cultured dorsal root ganglia of latently infected mice. The neurons in culture were identified morphologically and by using the specific anti-neuronal monoclonal antibody A2B5. HSV antigen expression during reactivation was first seen in neurons on day 3 after dissociation, and infectious virus was released subsequently. Approximately 0.4% of neurons released infectious virus. The presence of neutralizing antibody to HSV did not modify the reactivation process. After infection of mouse neuronal cultures with HSV, cytopathic effect and viral antigen expression appeared within 18 h predominantly in fibroblastic cells.

Keyword(s): HSV-1 and -2 , latency , mouse and neurons

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