1887

Abstract

Herpes simplex virus type 1 (HSV-1) establishes a latent infection in sensory neurons from which the virus can periodically reactivate. Whilst latency establishment is thought to result from a failure to express immediate-early genes, we have previously shown that subpopulations of the latent neuronal reservoir have undergone lytic promoter activation prior to latency establishment. In the present study, we have investigated the biological properties of such latently infected neuronal subpopulations using Ai6 fluorescent reporter mice. Using this system we have determined that prior ICP0 or TK promoter activation does not correlate with increased latent virus DNA loads within individual cells and that neurons with evidence of historical lytic cycle promoter activity exhibit a comparable frequency of reactivation to that of the general latent cell population. Comparison of viral DNA content within cells harbouring latent HSV-1 genomes and those undergoing the earliest stages of reactivation has revealed that reactivation can initiate from cells harbouring a wide range of HSV-1 genome copies, but that exiting latency is biased towards cells bearing higher latent virus DNA loads.

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2016-03-01
2019-10-18
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