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Abstract

Herpes simplex virus type 1 establishes latency within neurons of the trigeminal ganglion. During latency, viral gene expression is largely restricted to the latency-associated transcripts (LATs), which, whilst not essential for any aspect of latency, function to suppress lytic gene expression and enhance the survival of virus-infected neurons. The latent cell population comprises primary-order neurons infected directly from peripheral tissues and cells infected following further virus spread within the ganglion. In order to assess the role of LAT expression on latency establishment within first-order neurons, we infected ROSA26R reporter mice with Cre recombinase-expressing recombinant viruses harbouring deletion of the thymidine kinase lytic gene and/or the core LAT promoter. We found that LAT expression did not impact on latency establishment in viruses unable to replicate in neurons, and under these conditions, it was not required for the survival of neurons between 3 and 31 days post-infection.

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2013-11-01
2020-01-21
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