The role of brain neurotransmitter transport processes in rabies virus infection of neurons was examined. The uptake and release of γ-amino--butyric acid (GABA) in rabies virus-infected embryonic rat cortical neurons was assayed using tritiated ligands. A 45% reduction of [H]GABA uptake was observed 3 days post-infection, when a maximum level of infectious particle release occurs. At this time, kinetic analysis revealed significant changes in , whereas no changes were found in values in comparison with the control values. K and veratridine-induced [H]GABA release was increased in infected cultures (98% and 35%, respectively) as compared with control values. The results obtained from rabies virus-infected cultures provide some preliminary evidence of the involvement of GABA in the pathogenesis of rabies.


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