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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Nerve growth factor-dependence of herpes simplex virus latency in peripheral sympathetic and sensory neurons in vitro.

Previously, we reported that nerve growth factor (NGF) is required to maintain herpes simplex virus (HSV) latency in cultures of rat sympathetic neurons (Wilcox and Johnson, 1987, 1988). Here, we extend these results by showing that NGF was also required to maintain HSV latency in cultures of sensory neurons obtained from dorsal root ganglia of rats, monkeys, and humans. The interruption of the neuronal supply of NGF for 1 hr reactivated HSV, indicating that the latent virus was exquisitely sensitive to perturbations in the concentration or binding of NGF. A species-specific monoclonal antibody directed against the human NGF-receptor, which blocks NGF binding, reactivated latent HSV in human, but not rat, sensory neurons. In contrast, a monoclonal antibody against the rat NGF-receptor, which binds the receptor without blocking NGF action, did not produce reactivation. These results indicate that the effects of NGF on HSV latency are mediated via NGF binding to the NGF receptor. In addition, treatments that interfere with specific steps in the transduction of the NGF signal, including treatment with 6-hydroxydopamine and colchicine, reactivated latent HSV. Further, in neurons harboring latent virus, interruption of protein synthesis or RNA transcription for 1 hr resulted in viral reactivation, suggesting that a short-lived factor may be present in neurons which represses viral reactivation.[1]


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