Variations in Aspects of Neural Precursor Cell Neurogenesis in a Human Model of HSV-1 Infection.

31 Dec 2022
Zheng W, Benner EM, Bloom DC, Muralidaran V, Caldwell JK, Prabhudesai A, Piazza PA, Wood J, Kinchington PR, Nimgaonkar VL, D'Aiuto L

Encephalitis, the most significant of the central nervous system (CNS) diseases caused by Herpes simplex virus 1 (HSV-1), may have long-term sequelae in survivors treated with acyclovir, the cause of which is unclear. HSV-1 exhibits a tropism toward neurogenic niches in CNS enriched with neural precursor cells (NPCs), which play a pivotal role in neurogenesis. NPCs are susceptible to HSV-1. There is a paucity of information regarding the influence of HSV-1 on neurogenesis in humans. We investigated HSV-1 infection of NPCs from two individuals. Our results show (i) HSV-1 impairs, to different extents, the proliferation, self-renewing, and, to an even greater extent, migration of NPCs from these two subjects; (ii) The protective effect of the gold-standard antiherpetic drug acyclovir (ACV) varies with viral dose and is incomplete. It is also subject to differences in terms of efficacy of the NPCs derived from these two individuals. These results suggest that the effects of HSV-1 may have on aspects of NPC neurogenesis may vary among individuals, even in the presence of acyclovir, and this may contribute to the heterogeneity of cognitive sequelae across encephalitis survivors. Further analysis of NPC cell lines from a larger number of individuals is warranted.