We previously demonstrated that intraocular injections of virulent and attenuated strains of pseudorabies virus (PRV) produce transneuronal infection of functionally distinct central visual circuits in the rat. The virulent Becker strain of PRV induces two temporally separated waves of infection that ultimately target all known retinorecipient neurons; the attenuated Bartha strain only infects a functionally distinct subset of these neurons. In this study, we demonstrate that deletion of a single viral gene encoding glycoprotein gI is sufficient to reproduce both the novel pattern of infectivity and the reduced neurovirulence of the Bartha strain of PRV. Glycoprotein gIII, a major viral membrane protein required for efficient adsorption of virus in cell culture, has no obvious role in determining the pattern of neuronal infectivity, but appears to function with gI to influence neurovirulence. These data suggest that neuroinvasiveness and virulence are the products of an interaction of viral envelope glycoproteins with as yet unidentified cellular receptors.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Insect Science