Several neuroinvasive viruses can be used to study the mammalian nervous system. In particular, infection by pseudorabies virus (PRV), an α-herpesvirus with broad host range, reveals chains of functionally connected neurons in the nervous systems of a variety of mammals. The specificity of PRV trans-neuronal spread has been established in several systems. One attenuated strain, PRV-Bartha, causes a reduced inflammatory response and also spreads only from infected post- to pre-synaptic neurons. We review the basics of PRV tracing and then discuss new developments and novel approaches that have enabled a more detailed understanding of the architecture of the nervous system. As questions and techniques evolve in the field of neuroscience, advances in PRV tracing will certainly follow.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Molecular Medicine
- Molecular Biology