Infection of adult mice with neuroadapted Sindbis virus (NSV) results in a severe encephalomyelitis accompanied by prominent hindlimb paralysis. We find that the onset of paralysis parallels morphologic changes in motor neuron cell bodies in the lumbar spinal cord and in motor neuron axons in ventral nerve roots, many of which are eventually lost over time. However, unlike NSV-induced neuronal cell death found in the brain of infected animals, the loss of motor neurons does not appear to be apoptotic, as judged by morphologic and biochemical criteria. This may be explained in part by the lack of detectable caspase-3 expression in these cells.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Insect Science