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Serological markers of Bornavirus infection found in horses in Iceland.

Acta Vet Scand 2013; 55 (): 77

BACKGROUND: In a stable of eight horses in Northern Iceland, six horses presented with clinical signs, such as ataxia and reduced appetite, leading to euthanasia of one severely affected horse. Serological investigations revealed no evidence of active equine herpes virus type 1 infection, a common source of central nervous system disease in horses, nor equine arteritis virus and West Nile virus. Another neurotropic virus, Borna disease virus, was therefore included in the differential diagnosis list. FINDINGS: Serological investigations revealed antibodies against Borna disease virus in four of five horses with neurological signs in the affected stable. One horse without clinical signs was seronegative. Four clinically healthy horses in the stable that arrived and were sampled one year after the outbreak were found seronegative, whereas one of four investigated healthy horses in an unaffected stable was seropositive. CONCLUSIONS: This report contains the first evidence of antibodies to Borna disease virus in Iceland. Whether Borna disease virus was the cause of the neurological signs could however not be confirmed by pathology or molecular detection of the virus. As Iceland has very restricted legislation regarding animal imports, the questions of how this virus has entered the country and to what extent markers of Bornavirus infection can be found in humans and animals in Iceland remain to be answered.


Interferon-gamma prevents death of bystander neurons during CD8 T cell responses in the brain.

Am J Pathol 2009; 174 (5): 1799-807

T cells restricted to neurotropic viruses are potentially harmful as their activity may result in the destruction of neurons. In the Borna disease virus (BDV) model, antiviral CD8 T cells entering the brain of infected mice cause neurological disease but no substantial loss of neurons unless the animals lack interferon-gamma (IFN-gamma). We show here that glutamate receptor antagonists failed to prevent BDV-induced neuronal loss in IFN-gamma-deficient mice, suggesting that excitotoxicity resulting from glutamate receptor overstimulation is an unlikely explanation for the neuronal damage. Experiments with IFN-gamma-deficient mice lacking eosinophils indicated that these cells, which specifically accumulate in the infected brains of IFN-gamma-deficient mice, are not responsible for CA1 neuronal death. Interestingly, BDV-induced damage of CA1 neurons was reduced significantly in IFN-gamma-deficient mice lacking perforin, suggesting a key role for CD8 T cells in this pathological process. Specific death of hippocampal CA1 neurons could be triggered by adoptive transfer of BDV-specific CD8 T cells from IFN-gamma-deficient mice into uninfected mice that express transgene-encoded BDV antigen at high level in astrocytes. These results indicate that attack by CD8 T cells that cause the death of CA1 neurons might be directed toward regional astrocytes and that IFN-gamma protects vulnerable CA1 neurons from collateral damage resulting from exposure to potentially toxic substances generated as a result of CD8 T cell-mediated impairment of astrocyte function.


Cerebral expression of interleukin-12 induces neurological disease via differential pathways and recruits antigen-specific T cells in virus-infected mice.

Am J Pathol 2004; 165 (3): 949-58

Transgenic expression of interleukin-12 (IL-12) in astrocytes causes a spontaneous inflammatory central nervous system disorder in aged mice. Here we show that spontaneous disorder developed only when both mature lymphocytes and interferon (IFN)-gamma were present. Infection with noncytolytic Borna disease virus (BDV) did not affect wild-type mice but accelerated disease of IL-12 transgenic mice. Infection of transgenic mice lacking lymphocytes did not result in neurological symptoms. In contrast, BDV infection of transgenic mice lacking IFN-gamma induced neurological disease with delayed onset of symptoms that resembled those in infected transgenic mice with a functional IFN-gamma gene. In BDV-infected transgenic mice devoid of IFN-gamma no cerebellar calcification was observed, and multiplication of BDV was not inhibited. To determine the antigen specificity of lymphocytes in brains of diseased animals, the IL-12 transgene was introduced into an H-2k genetic background. Infection of IL-12 transgenic H-2k mice resulted in extensive lymphocytic infiltration into the cerebellum but not into other brain regions that also contained viral antigen but expressed the transgene at lower levels. Tetramer analysis revealed that most CD8 T cells in the cerebellum of such mice were BDV-specific. Our results thus demonstrate that IFN-gamma secreting lymphocytes are responsible for disease of IL-12 transgenic mice. They further suggest that expression of IL-12 in the central nervous system may lead to localized recruitment of T cells that recognize antigens expressed in the brain.


2'-fluoro-2'-deoxycytidine inhibits Borna disease virus replication and spread.

Antimicrob Agents Chemother 2004; 48 (4): 1422-5

Borna disease virus (BDV) causes neurological diseases in a variety of warm-blooded animal species, possibly including humans. To date, there is no effective treatment against BDV infection. Recently, we reported on the antiviral activity of 1-beta-D-arabinofuranosylcytosine (Ara-C). However, Ara-C's cytotoxic side effects are a major obstacle for its therapeutic use. Herein, we demonstrate that the nucleoside analog 2'-fluoro-2'-deoxycytidine (2'-FdC) exhibits potent antiviral activity against BDV. Importantly, 2'-FdC-associated cytotoxicity is negligible, indicating 2'-FdC as an excellent candidate for the development of antiviral therapy against BDV.


Neuroprotection and reduced proliferation of microglia in ribavirin-treated bornavirus-infected rats.

Antimicrob Agents Chemother 2002; 46 (7): 2287-91

In a rat model of Borna disease, intracerebral ribavirin caused clinical improvement without changes in virus titer or nucleic acid. Levels of microglia and infiltrating CD4 and CD8 cells were decreased, despite increases in mRNAs encoding interleukin-1beta (IL-1beta), IL-10, and gamma interferon in the brain. Intracerebral ribavirin may reduce morbidity through effects on microglia cell proliferation.


Taxonomic reorganization of the family Bornaviridae.

Arch Virol 2015; 160 (2): 621-32

Knowledge of bornaviruses has expanded considerably during the last decade. A possible reservoir of mammalian Borna disease virus has been identified, divergent bornaviruses have been detected in birds and reptiles, and endogenous bornavirus-like elements have been discovered in the genomes of vertebrates of several species. Previous sequence comparisons and alignments have indicated that the members of the current family Bornaviridae are phylogenetically diverse and are not adequately classified in the existing bornavirus taxonomy supported by the International Committee on Taxonomy of Viruses (ICTV). We provide an update of these analyses and describe their implications for taxonomy. We propose retaining the family name Bornaviridae and the genus Bornavirus but reorganizing species classification. PAirwise Sequence Comparison (PASC) of bornavirus genomes and Basic Local Alignment Search Tool (BLAST) comparison of genomic and protein sequences, in combination with other already published phylogenetic analyses and known biological characteristics of bornaviruses, indicate that this genus should include at least five species: Mammalian 1 bornavirus (classical Borna disease virus and divergent Borna disease virus isolate No/98), Psittaciform 1 bornavirus (avian/psittacine bornaviruses 1, 2, 3, 4, 7), Passeriform 1 bornavirus (avian/canary bornaviruses C1, C2, C3, LS), Passeriform 2 bornavirus (estrildid finch bornavirus EF), and Waterbird 1 bornavirus (avian bornavirus 062CG). This classification is also in line with biological characteristics of these viruses and their vertebrate hosts. A snake bornavirus, proposed to be named Loveridge's garter snake virus 1, should be classified as a member of an additional species (Elapid 1 bornavirus), unassigned to a genus, in the family Bornaviridae. Avian bornaviruses 5, 6, MALL, and another "reptile bornavirus" ("Gaboon viper virus") should stay unclassified until further information becomes available. Finally, we propose new virus names and abbreviations when necessary to achieve clear differentiation and unique identification.


Viral immune surveillance: Toward a TH17/TH9 gate to the central nervous system.

Bioinformation 2015; 11 (1): 47-54

UNLABELLED: Viral cellular immune surveillance is a dynamic and fluid system that is driven by finely regulated cellular processes including cytokines and other factors locally in the microenvironment and systemically throughout the body. It is questionable as to what extent the central nervous system (CNS) is an immune-privileged organ protected by the blood-brain barrier (BBB). Recent evidence suggests converging pathways through which viral infection, and its associated immune surveillance processes, may alter the integrity of the blood-brain barrier, and lead to inflammation, swelling of the brain parenchyma and associated neurological syndromes. Here, we expand upon the recent "gateway theory", by which viral infection and other immune activation states may disrupt the specialized tight junctions of the BBB endothelium making it permeable to immune cells and factors. The model we outline here builds upon the proposition that this process may actually be initiated by cytokines of the IL-17 family, and recognizing the intimate balance between TH17 and TH9 cytokine profiles systemically. We argue that immune surveillance events, in response to viruses such as the Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV), cause a TH17/TH9 induced gateway through blood brain barrier, and thus lead to characteristic neuroimmune pathology. It is possible and even probable that the novel TH17/TH9 induced gateway, which we describe here, opens as a consequence of any state of immune activation and sustained chronic inflammation, whether associated with viral infection or any other cause of peripheral or central neuroinflammation. This view could lead to new, timely and critical patient-centered therapies for patients with neuroimmune pathologies across a variety of etiologies. ABBREVIATIONS: BBB - blood brain barrier, BDV - Borna disease virus, CARD - caspase activation and recruitment domains, CD - clusters of differentiation, CNS - central nervous system, DAMP - damage-associated molecular patterns, DENV - Dengue virus, EBOV - Ebola virus, ESCRT - endosomal sorting complex required for transport-I, HepC - Hepatitis C virus, HIV - human immunodeficiency virus, IFN - interferon, ILn - interleukin-n, IRF-n - interferon regulatory factor-n, MAVS - mitochondrial antiviral-signaling, MBGV - Marburg virus, M-CSF - macrophage colony-stimulating factor, MCP-1 - monocyte chemotactic protein 1 (aka CCL2), MHC - major histocompatibility complex, MIP-alpha beta - macrophage inflammatory protein-1 alpha beta (aka CCL3 & CCL4), MIF - macrophage migration inhibitory factor, NVE - Nipah virus encephalitis, NK - natural killer cell, NLR - NLR, NOD - like receptor, NOD - nucleotide oligomerization domain, PAMP - pathogen-associated molecular patterns, PtdIns - phosphoinositides, PV - Poliovirus, RIG-I - retinoic acid-inducible gene I, RIP - Receptor-interacting protein (RIP) kinase, RLR - RIG-I-like receptor, sICAM1 - soluble intracellular adhesion molecule 1, STAT-3 - signal tranducer and activator of transcription-3, sVCAM1 - soluble vascular cell adhesion molecule 1, TANK - TRAF family member-associated NF- . B activator, TBK1 - TANK-binding kinase 1, TLR - Toll-like receptor, TNF - tumor necrosis factor, TNFR - TNF receptor, TNFRSF21 - tumor necrosis factor receptor superfamily member 21, TRADD TNFR-SF1A - associated via death domain, TRAF TNFR - associated factor, Tregs - regulatory T cellsubpopulation (CD4/8+CD25+FoxP3+), VHF - viral hemorrhagic fever.


Hematologic consequences of Borna disease virus infection of rat bone marrow and thymus stromal cells.

Blood 1995; 85 (10): 2762-9

Borna disease virus (BDV) was previously believed to have a strict tropism for the nervous system. BDV has recently been identified by a reverse transcription-polymerization chain reaction-enzyme immunosorbent assay (RT-PCR-EIA) in bone marrow cells and peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMC) in BDV-infected Lewis rats. We now report the identification of BDV RNA and infectious virus in thymus cells from rats infected either as neonates (PTI-NB) or as adults (4 weeks of age). Based on in vitro studies, we determined that the BDV-infected cells in bone marrow and thymus tissue are fibroblastic stromal cells. Bone marrow stromal cells are nonhematopoietic, fixed-tissue elements that support hematopoiesis, and, thus, it was not surprising that BDV infection altered the recovery from granulocytopenia and leukocytopenia after myelosuppressive treatment. Notably, unlike other immunotropic and neurotropic viruses, BDV does not appear to infect cells of myeloid or lymphoid lineages. We also report the association between BDV in the thymus with the lack, or loss, of encephalitis in neonatally inoculated rats or adult-inoculated rats during the chronic stage of disease.


Primary psychosis and Borna disease virus infection in Lithuania: a case control study.

BMC Psychiatry 2016; 16 (1): 369;

BACKGROUND: The hypothesis that microbial infections may be linked to mental disorders has long been addressed for Borna disease virus (BDV), but clinical and epidemiological evidence remained inconsistent due to non-conformities in detection methods. BDV circulating immune complexes (CIC) were shown to exceed the prevalence of serum antibodies alone and to comparably screen for infection in Europe (DE, CZ, IT), the Middle East (IR) and Asia (CN), still seeking general acceptance. METHODS: We used CIC and antigen (Ag) tests to investigate BDV infection in Lithuania through a case-control study design comparing in-patients suffering of primary psychosis with blood donors. One hundred and six acutely psychotic in-patients with no physical illness, consecutively admitted to the regional mental hospital, and 98 blood donors from the Blood Donation Centre, Lithuania, were enrolled in the study. The severity of psychosis was assessed twice, prior and after acute antipsychotic therapy, by the Brief Psychiatric Rating Scale (BPRS). BDV-CIC and Ag markers were tested once after therapy was terminated. RESULTS: What we found was a significantly higher prevalence of CIC, indicating a chronic BDV infection, in patients with treated primary psychosis than in blood donor controls (39.6 % vs. 22.4 %, respectively). Free BDV Ag, indicating currently active infection, did not show significant differences among study groups. Higher severity of psychosis prior to treatment was inversely correlated to the presence of BDV Ag (42.6 vs. 34.1 BPRS, respectively; p = 0.022). CONCLUSIONS: The study concluded significantly higher BDV infection rates in psychotic than in healthy Lithuanians, thus supporting similar global trends for other mental disorders. The study raised awareness to consider the integration of BDV infection surveillance in psychiatry research in the future.


Borna disease virus (BDV) circulating immunocomplex positivity in addicted patients in the Czech Republic: a prospective cohort analysis.

BMC Psychiatry 2010; 10 (): 70

BACKGROUND: Borna disease virus (BDV) is an RNA virus belonging to the family Bornaviridae. Borna disease virus is a neurotropic virus that causes changes in mood, behaviour and cognition. BDV causes persistent infection of the central nervous system. Immune changes lead to activation of infection. Alcohol and drug dependence are associated with immune impairment. METHODS: We examined the seropositivity of BDV circulating immunocomplexes (CIC) in patients with alcohol and drug dependence and healthy individuals (blood donors). We examined 41 addicted patients for the presence of BDV CIC in the serum by ELISA at the beginning of detoxification, and after eight weeks of abstinence. This is the first such study performed in patients with alcohol and drug dependence. RESULTS: BDV CIC positivity was detected in 36.59% of addicted patients on day 0 and in 42.86% on day 56. The control group was 37.3% positive. However, we did not detect higher BDV CIC positivity in addicted patients in comparison with blood donors (p = 0.179). The significantly higher level of BDV CIC was associated with lower levels of GGT (gamma glutamyl transferase) (p = 0.027) and approached statistical significance with the lower age of addicted patients (p = 0.064). We did not find any association between BDV CIC positivity and other anamnestic and demographic characteristics. CONCLUSIONS: In our study addicted patients did not have significantly higher levels of BDV CIC than the control group. The highest levels of BDV CIC were detected in patients with lower levels of GGT and a lower age. TRIAL REGISTRATION: This study was approved by the ethical committee of the University Hospital Medical Faculty of Charles University in Pilsen, Czech Republic (registration number 303/2001).


Change in the responsiveness of interferon-stimulated genes during early pregnancy in cows with Borna virus-1 infection.

BMC Vet Res 2016; 12 (1): 253

BACKGROUND: Borna disease virus is a neurotropic pathogen and infects the central nervous system. This virus infected a variety of animal species including cows. The most of cows infected with Borna disease virus 1 (BoDV-1) exhibit subclinical infection without any neurological symptoms throughout their lifetime. We previously reported on the low conception rates in-seropositive cows. Interferon-tau (IFN-tau) plays an important role in stable fertilization, and is produced from the fetal side following embryo growth at 15-40 days of pregnancy. IFN-tau induces the expression of interferon-stimulated gene (ISG) 15 and Mx2 in peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs). To understand the embryo growth and maternal reaction during early pregnancy in cows with BoDV-1 infection, we aimed to assess the gene expression of ISG15 and Mx2 from PBMCs in BoDV-1-seropositive cows. RESULTS: None of the cows showed any clinical and neurological symptoms. Among the cows that conceived, the expressions of the ISG15 and Mx2 genes were greater in the BoDV-1-seropositive cows than in the BoDV-1-seronegative cows; the difference was significant between the cows that conceived and those that did not (P < 0.05). CONCLUSIONS: The expression of ISG15 and Mx2 genes during early pregnancy significantly increased in the BoDV-1-seropositive cows and may be important for the maintenance of stable pregnancy in BoDV-1-infected cows. In contrast, the gene expression levels of ISG15 and Mx2 did not significantly increase during early pregnancy in BoDV-1-seronegative cows. Thus, BoDV-1 infection may lead to instability in the maintenance of early pregnancy by interfering with INF-tau production.


Enteroviral hypothesis for motor neurone disease.

BMJ 1995; 310 (6974): 256


The rate of inactivation by ultra-violet irradiation as a means of distinguishing antigenically different strains of African horse-sickness virus.

Br J Exp Pathol 1950; 31 (1): 1-4


Prospects for cannabinoid therapies in viral encephalitis.

Brain Res 2013; 1537 (): 273-82

Cannabinoids are promising therapies to support neurogenesis and decelerate disease progression in neuroinflammatory and degenerative disorders. Whether neuroprotective effects of cannabinoids are sustainable during persistent viral infection of the CNS is not known. Using a rodent model of chronic viral encephalitis based on Borna Disease (BD) virus, in which 1 week treatment with the general cannabinoid WIN 55,212-2 has been shown to be neuroprotective (Solbrig et al., 2010), we examine longer term (2 week treatment) effects of a general (CB1 and CB2) cannabinoid receptor agonist WIN55,212-2 (1mg/kg ip twice per day) or a specific (CB2) cannabinoid receptor agonist HU-308 (5mg/kg ip once daily) on histopathology, measures of frontostriatal neurogenesis and gliogenesis, and viral load. We find that WIN and HU-308 differ in their ability to protect new BrdU(+) cells. The selective CB2 agonist HU increases BrdU(+) cells in prefrontal cortex (PFC), significantly increases BrdU(+) cells in striatum, differentially regulates polydendrocytes vs. microglia/macrophages, and reduces immune activation at a time WIN-treated rats appear tolerant to the anti-inflammatory effect of their cannabinoid treatment. WIN and HU had little direct viral effect in PFC and striatum, yet reduced viral signal in hippocampus. Thus, HU-308 action on CB2 receptors, receptors known to be renewed during microglia proliferation and action, is a nontolerizing mechanism of controlling CNS inflammation during viral encephalitis by reducing microglia activation, as well as partially limiting viral infection, and uses a nonpsychotropic cannabinoid agonist.


Bornavirus closely associates and segregates with host chromosomes to ensure persistent intranuclear infection.

Cell Host Microbe 2012; 11 (5): 492-503

Bornaviruses are nonsegmented negative-strand RNA viruses that establish a persistent infection in the nucleus and occasionally integrate a DNA genome copy into the host chromosomal DNA. However, how these viruses achieve intranuclear infection remains unclear. We show that Borna disease virus (BDV), a mammalian bornavirus, closely associates with the cellular chromosome to ensure intranuclear infection. BDV generates viral factories within the nucleus using host chromatin as a scaffold. In addition, the viral ribonucleoprotein (RNP) interacts directly with the host chromosome throughout the cell cycle, using core histones as a docking platform. HMGB1, a host chromatin-remodeling DNA architectural protein, is required to stabilize RNP on chromosomes and for efficient BDV RNA transcription in the nucleus. During metaphase, the association of RNP with mitotic chromosomes allows the viral RNA to segregate into daughter cells and ensure persistent infection. Thus, bornaviruses likely evolved a chromosome-dependent life cycle to achieve stable intranuclear infection.


Memory Impairment Induced by Borna Disease Virus 1 Infection is Associated with Reduced H3K9 Acetylation.

Cell Physiol Biochem 2018; 49 (1): 381-394

BACKGROUND/AIMS: Borna disease virus 1 (BoDV-1) infection induces cognitive impairment in rodents. Emerging evidence has demonstrated that Chromatin remodeling through histone acetylation can regulate cognitive function. In the present study, we investigated the epigenetic regulation of chromatin that underlies BoDV-1-induced cognitive changes in the hippocampus. METHODS: Immunofluorescence assay was applied to detect BoDV-1 infection in hippocampal neurons and Sprague-Dawley rats models. The histone acetylation levels both in vivo and vitro were assessed by western blots. The acetylation-regulated genes were identified by ChIP-seq and verified by RT-qPCR. Cognitive functions were evaluated with Morris Water Maze test. In addition, Golgi staining, and electrophysiology were used to study changes in synaptic structure and function. RESULTS: BoDV-1 infection of hippocampal neurons significantly decreased H3K9 histone acetylation level and inhibited transcription of several synaptic genes, including postsynaptic density 95 (PSD95) and brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF). Furthermore, BoDV-1 infection of Sprague Dawley rats disrupted synaptic plasticity and caused spatial memory impairment. These rats also exhibited dysregulated hippocampal H3K9 acetylation and decreased PSD95 and BDNF protein expression. Treatment with the HDAC inhibitor, suberanilohydroxamic acid (SAHA), attenuated the negative effects of BoDV-1. CONCLUSION: Our results demonstrate that regulation of H3K9 histone acetylation may play an important role in BoDV-1-induced memory impairment, whereas SAHA may confer protection against BoDV-1-induced cognitive impairments. This study finds important mechanism of BoDV-1 infection disturbing neuronal synaptic plasticity and inducing cognitive dysfunction from the perspective of histone modification.


Detection by radioligand assay of antibodies against Borna disease virus in patients with various psychiatric disorders.

Clin Diagn Lab Immunol 2005; 12 (5): 671-6

Using a radioligand assay, which preserves the natural form of the antigen, antibodies against Borna disease virus nucleoprotein and phosphoprotein were detected in 11 and 19 sera of 171 psychiatric patients, respectively. Compared with results by Western blotting, three and nine sera were concordantly positive, respectively. The four sera showing the highest levels of antibodies by radioligand assay were all negative by Western blotting; however, dilution and inhibition tests supported the positive results. Our results suggest the importance of conformational structure to detect human anti-Borna disease virus antibodies.


Detection of borna disease virus-reactive antibodies from patients with psychiatric disorders and from horses by electrochemiluminescence immunoassay.

Clin Diagn Lab Immunol 1999; 6 (5): 696-700

The prevalence of Borna disease virus (BDV)-specific antibodies among patients with psychiatric disorders and healthy individuals has varied in several reports using several different serological assay methods. A reliable and specific method for anti-BDV antibodies needs to be developed to clarify the pathological significance of BDV infections in humans. We developed a new electrochemiluminescence immunoassay (ECLIA) for the antibody to BDV that uses two recombinant proteins of BDV, p40 and p24 (full length). Using this ECLIA, we examined 3,476 serum samples from humans with various diseases and 917 sera from blood donors in Japan for the presence of anti-BDV antibodies. By ECLIA, 26 (3.08%) of 845 schizophrenia patients and 9 (3.59%) of 251 patients with mood disorders were seropositive for BDV. Among 323 patients with other psychiatric diseases, 114 with neurological diseases, 75 with chronic fatigue syndrome, 85 human immunodeficiency virus-infected patients, 50 with autoimmune diseases including rheumatoid arthritis and systemic lupus erythematosis and 17 with leprosy, there was no positive case except one case each with alcohol addiction, AIDS, and dementia. Although 19 (1.36%) of 1,393 patients with various ocular diseases, 10 (1.09%) of 917 blood donors, and 3 (4.55%) of 66 multitransfused patients were seropositive for BDV-specific antigen, high levels of seroprevalence in schizophrenia patients and young patients (16 to 59 years old) with mood disorders were statistically significant. The immunoreactivity of seropositive sera could be verified for specificity by blocking with soluble p40 and/or p24 recombinant protein. Anti-p24 antibody was more frequent than p40 antibody in most cases, and in some psychotic patients antibody profiles showed only p40 antibody. Although serum positive for both p40 and p24 antibodies was not found in this study, the p40 ECLIA count in schizophrenia patients was higher than that of blood donors. Furthermore, we examined 90 sera from Japanese feral horses. Antibody profiles of control human samples are similar to that of naturally BDV-infected feral horses. We concluded that BDV infection was associated in some way with psychiatric disorders.


Microplate hybridization for Borna disease virus RNA in human peripheral blood mononuclear cells.

Clin Diagn Lab Immunol 1997; 4 (3): 387-91

We developed a simple and sensitive microplate hybridization procedure with which to identify Borna disease virus cDNA in amplified products from human peripheral blood mononuclear cells. The mean values for the positive PCR products were significant compared with those for any of the negative products, indicating that this method can be applied to rapidly diagnose a large number of clinical specimens.


High prevalence of Borna disease virus infection in healthy sheep in Japan.

Clin Diagn Lab Immunol 1997; 4 (3): 339-44

Previous seroepidemiological and molecular epidemiological studies of Borna disease virus (BDV) showed considerably high rates of infection in horses, cattle, cats, and humans in Hokkaido, Japan. Here, we further demonstrate high rates of specific antibodies to BDV and BDV RNA in peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) from healthy sheep bred on the same island. The BDV prevalences by immunoblotting and/or reverse transcriptase PCR were 0% (0 of 19) in newborns (<1 month old), 51.7% (15 of 29) in lambs (1 to 6 months old), and 36.7% (11 of 30) in adults (>2 years old). Among animals positive for BDV, 60% of lambs and 45.5% of adults contained BDV RNA in PBMCs while 46.7% of lambs and 90.9% of adults contained specific antibodies to BDV. Thus, it is suggested that virus replication in the blood, as observed in lambs, is usually reduced in adulthood by raising immune responses to BDV.


Lack of association of Borna disease virus and human T-cell leukemia virus type 1 infections with psychiatric disorders among Japanese patients.

Clin Diagn Lab Immunol 1997; 4 (2): 189-94

Borna disease virus (BDV) infection has been suspected to be a possible etiological factor in human psychiatric disorders and recently in chronic fatigue syndrome. Evidence of the correlation of BDV infection with these disorders remained unclear. Kagoshima is known to be one of the major areas in which human T-cell leukemia virus type 1 (HTLV-1) is endemic; this is the first isolated human retrovirus that causes adult T-cell leukemia with neurological symptoms. The present study aimed to clarify whether BDV and HTLV-1 infections are associated with psychiatric disorders among Japanese patients. Subjects were 346 patients with psychiatric disorders (schizophrenia, 179; mood disorder, 123; and others, 44) and 70 healthy controls. Anti-BDV antibodies from plasma samples were screened by the indirect immunofluorescence (IF) method using BDV-infected MDCK cells. Results revealed that only three samples were found to be weakly positive for BDV in the IF assay and seronegative by Western blot (immunoblot) assay. Furthermore, BDV-p24 related RNA in peripheral blood mononuclear cells from 106 of 346 psychiatric patients and 12 or 70 healthy controls by p24-reverse transcription PCR was examined. Two mood disorder patients were positive for BDV-p24 RNA but seronegative. To detect anti-HTLV-1 antibodies the plasma samples were screened by the particle agglutination method and no significant difference in seropositivity for anti-HTLV-1 antibody was found between the patients and healthy controls. These results also suggested that there is a lack of association between BDV and HTLV-1 infections with psychiatric disorders among Japanese patients.


Unusually high seroprevalence of Borna disease virus in clade E human immunodeficiency virus type 1-infected patients with sexually transmitted diseases in Thailand.

Clin Diagn Lab Immunol 1996; 3 (5): 590-3

The seroprevalence of Borna disease virus (BDV) in human immunodeficiency virus type 1-infected individuals in Thailand was examined by using recombinant BDV p24. A high (38 to 48%) rate of seroprevalence of BDV was observed in clade E-infected patients with sexually transmitted diseases, compared with those in clade E-infected prostitutes (8.3%), pregnant women (0%), clade B-infected intravenous-drug users (0%), and human immunodeficiency virus type 1-negative blood donors (1.9%).


T cell memory specific for self and non-self antigens in rats persistently infected with Borna disease virus.

Clin Exp Immunol 1993; 93 (3): 370-6

We have studied CD4+ Th1 T cell responses in Borna disease (BD), a virus-mediated immune disease of the central nervous system (CNS), and demonstrate the priming of virus-specific as well as autoreactive T cells specific for myelin antigens in the course of viral infection. The fate of these in vivo generated T cells was subsequently assessed by in vitro proliferation assays with lymphocytes from different lymphoid organs of diseased animals over a long period of time. Virus-specific T cell responses continuously decreased during the establishment of persistent infection and could no longer be detected after 5-6 months post infectionem, when inflammatory reactions in the brain had ceased. By contrast, autoantigen-specific T cells kept their ability to mount characteristic secondary responses--although at an overall rather low level--over long periods of time; these autoreactive T cells homed to a specific lymphoid organ, the perithymic lymph node. Our study thus describes for the first time a complete decline of virus-specific T cell memory in a persistent viral infection, and raises the question how long-lasting T cell autoreactivity is controlled.


Borna disease virus infection, a human mental-health risk.

Clin Microbiol Rev 2003; 16 (3): 534-45

This article focuses on human Borna disease virus (BDV) infections, most notably on the development of valid diagnostic systems, which have arisen as a major research issue in the past decade. The significance of a novel modular triple enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay that is capable of specifically measuring anti-BDV antibodies as well as major structural proteins N (p40) and P (p24) in the blood, either as free antigens in the plasma or as antibody-bound circulating immune complexes (CICs), is explained. The impact of CICs and plasma antigen, which indicate periods of antigenemia in the course of BDV infection, along with other infection markers that are still in use is discussed. The review further provides new insight into possible links of BDV to human diseases, summarizing cross-sectional and longitudinal data which correlate acute depression with the presence and amount of antigen and CICs. Moreover, BDV prevalence in healthy people is reevaluated, suggesting that this was previously underestimated. Antiviral efficacy of amantadine, in vivo and in vitro, is outlined as well, with emphasis on wild-type (human and equine) versus laboratory strains. Finally, the pros and cons of the association of BDV with human disease, as detailed in the literature, are critically discussed and related to our data and concepts. This article supports existing correlative evidence for a pathogenic role of BDV infection in particular human mental disorders, in analogy to what has been proven for a variety of animal species.

  • Borna virus
  • *12857781*

    Borna disease virus and human disease.

    Clin Microbiol Rev 2001; 14 (3): 513-27

    The biology of Borna disease virus (BDV) strongly supports the likelihood of human infection with BDV or a variant of BDV. Thus far, the evidence supporting BDV infection in humans has initiated much controversy among basic and clinical scientists; only time and additional research will support or refute the hypothesis of human BDV infection. Until an assay of acceptable specificity and sensitivity has been developed, validated, and used to document human BDV infection, scientists cannot reasonably begin to associate BDV infection with specific disease syndromes. Clinical studies seeking causal associations between BDV infection and specific diseases must ensure the proper identification of the BDV infection status of patients and control subjects by using a validated, highly sensitive, and highly specific assay (or series of assays). For clinical studies, a highly sensitive "screening" test followed by a highly specific confirmatory test will be of significant benefit. Although it is possible to formulate hypotheses about the clinical outcomes of human BDV infection based on animal model work, to date no human disease has been causally linked to human BDV infection. Scientists all over the world are actively pursuing these issues, and with continuing advances in clinical and basic BDV research, the answers cannot be far away.

  • Borna virus
  • *11432811*

    Bicolored white-toothed shrews as reservoir for borna disease virus, Bavaria, Germany.

    Emerg Infect Dis 2013; 19 (12): 2064-6


    Avian bornaviruses in psittacine birds from Europe and Australia with proventricular dilatation disease.

    Emerg Infect Dis 2009; 15 (9): 1453-9

    To determine whether avian bornaviruses (ABVs) were a factor in proventricular dilatation disease (PDD), we used immunohistochemistry, reverse transcription-PCR, and nucleotide sequence analysis to examine paraffin wax-embedded or frozen tissue samples of 31 psittacine birds with this disease. PDD is a fatal disease of psittacine birds associated with nonsuppurative encephalitis and ganglioneuritis of the upper intestinal tract. Tissue samples had been collected from 1999 through 2008 in Austria, Switzerland, Hungary, and Australia. Immunohistochemical demonstration of viral antigen within the brain and vegetative nerve system of the gastrointestinal tract provides strong evidence for a causative role of ABVs in this condition. Partial sequences of nucleoprotein (p40) and matrix protein (gp18) genes showed that virus in most of our cases belonged to the ABV-2 and ABV-4 groups among the 5 genogroups described so far. Viral sequences of 2 birds did not match any of the described sequences and clustered together in a new branch termed ABV-6.


    Novel borna virus in psittacine birds with proventricular dilatation disease.

    Emerg Infect Dis 2008; 14 (12): 1883-6

    Pyrosequencing of cDNA from brains of parrots with proventricular dilatation disease (PDD), an unexplained fatal inflammatory central, autonomic, and peripheral nervous system disease, showed 2 strains of a novel Borna virus. Real-time PCR confirmed virus presence in brain, proventriculus, and adrenal gland of 3 birds with PDD but not in 4 unaffected birds.


    Shrews as reservoir hosts of borna disease virus.

    Emerg Infect Dis 2006; 12 (4): 675-7

    Borna disease virus (BDV) is the causative agent of severe T-cell-mediated meningoencephalitis in horses, sheep, and other animal species in central Europe. Here we report the first unequivocal detection of a BDV reservoir species, the bicolored white-toothed shrew, Crocidura leucodon, in an area in Switzerland with endemic Borna disease.



    Emerg Infect Dis 2002; 8 (9): 998-1002


    Borna disease virus infection in animals and humans.

    Emerg Infect Dis 1997; 3 (3): 343-52

    The geographic distribution and host range of Borna disease (BD), a fatal neurologic disease of horses and sheep, are larger than previously thought. The etiologic agent, Borna disease virus (BDV), has been identified as an enveloped nonsegmented negative-strand RNA virus with unique properties of replication. Data indicate a high degree of genetic stability of BDV in its natural host, the horse. Studies in the Lewis rat have shown that BDV replication does not directly influence vital functions; rather, the disease is caused by a virus-induced T-cell mediated immune reaction. Because antibodies reactive with BDV have been found in the sera of patients with neuropsychiatric disorders, this review examines the possible link between BDV and such disorders. Seroepidemiologic and cerebrospinal fluid investigations of psychiatric patients suggest a causal role of BDV infection in human psychiatric disorders. In diagnostically unselected psychiatric patients, the distribution of psychiatric disorders was found to be similar in BDV seropositive and seronegative patients. In addition, BDV-seropositive neurologic patients became ill with lymphocytic meningoencephalitis. In contrast to others, we found no evidence is reported for BDV RNA, BDV antigens, or infectious B DV in peripheral blood cells of psychiatric patients.

  • Borna virus
  • *9284379*

    Borna disease.

    Emerg Infect Dis 1997; 3 (2): 129-35

    Borna disease virus, a newly classified nonsegmented negative-strand RNA virus with international distribution, infects a broad range of warm-blooded animals from birds to primates. Infection causes movement and behavioral disturbances reminiscent of some neuropsychiatric syndromes. The virus has not been clearly linked to any human disease; however, an association between infection with the virus and selected neuropsychiatric disorders has been suggested. We reviewed recent advances in Borna disease virus research, focusing on evidence of infection in humans.

  • Borna virus
  • *9204293*

    Infections of horses and shrews with Bornaviruses in Upper Austria: a novel endemic area of Borna disease.

    Emerg Microbes Infect 2017; 6 (6): e52

    Borna disease, a lethal infection with Borna disease virus-1 (BoDV-1), was diagnosed in four horses from Upper Austria in 2015 and 2016. All cases occurred in winter (two cases in February 2015 and two cases in December 2016), and the maximal distance of the affected stables was 17 km. To demonstrate whether the causative agent was also harbored by its reservoir host, the bicolored white-toothed shrew (Crocidura leucodon), 28 shrews from this geographic area were collected in 2015 and investigated for the presence of BoDV-1. The shrew species were identified according to taxonomic clues and molecular barcodes. Affected horses and all shrews were investigated using histology, immunohistochemistry (IHC) and reverse transcription PCR. The horses exhibited severe nonpurulent encephalitis. Large amounts of BoDV-1 antigen were identified in their CNS. Among the 28 shrews, nine were identified as C. leucodon and 13 as Sorex araneus (Common shrew; Eurasian shrew). Six C. leucodon (66.7%) and one S. araneus (7.7%) had BoDV-1 infections. In accordance with previous findings, the IHC of C. leucodon exhibited a high amount of viral antigen in many neural and extraneural tissues. By contrast, the single positive S. araneus had an exclusively neural staining pattern. Of all positive samples, whole-genome BoDV-1 sequences were generated. The acquired sequences of the affected shrews were not identical to each other and clustered around the sequences of the diseased horses belonging, surprisingly, to the German 'strain V' cluster.


    Wild birds as a possible natural reservoir of Borna disease virus.

    Epidemiol Infect 2001; 127 (1): 173-8

    The natural reservoir of Borna disease virus (BDV) is unknown. In this paper, we show that mallards (Anas platyrhyncos) and jackdaws (Corvus monedula) can be subclinically infected carriers of this virus. From faecal samples collected at a bird pond, we were able to amplify fragments of the BDV p24 and p40 genes. Following cloning and sequencing, a phylogenetic analysis revealed that these birds carry strains of BDV closely related to but distinct from the reference strains BDV V and He/80. To our knowledge, this is the first confirmed finding of BDV in wild birds.


    The glycosylated matrix protein of Borna disease virus is a tetrameric membrane-bound viral component essential for infection.

    Eur J Biochem 1997; 246 (1): 252-7

    Borna disease virus (BDV) is representative of the family of Bornaviridae in the order Mononegavirales (negative-stranded, non-segmented, enveloped RNA viruses). It is the causal agent for Borna disease, characterized as an encephalomyelitis (typical form) in a wide variety of domestic animals (from rodents to birds). Recent information shows the involvement of BDV in the pathogenesis of some human psychiatric disorders. The 8.9-kb viral antigenome codes for five major ORF. The third ORF codes for a 16-kDa protein (matrix protein) that is posttranslationally modified, yielding an N-linked glycoprotein. Our data show that the glycosylated matrix protein exists as a stable tetrameric structure detectable either by electrospray ionization or matrix-assisted laser-desorption ionization mass spectrometry. Under native conditions, the tetramer, with a relative molecular mass of 68 kDa, was isolated from a sediment-free brain suspension of a BDV-infected horse. The 68-kDa entity is stable in the presence of ionic and nonionic detergents but dissociates into subunits when heated. We found that the tetrameric matrix protein inhibits in vitro BDV infection in a dose-dependent manner. In contrast to inhibition of BDV infection with hydrophobic carbohydrate derivatives and protein-bound glycoconjugates, the glycosylated matrix protein is a very potent inhibitor of BDV infection, indicating that this protein represents an essential virus-specific membrane component for viral attachment.


    The functional avidity of virus-specific CD8+ T cells is down-modulated in Borna disease virus-induced immunopathology of the central nervous system.

    Eur J Immunol 2005; 35 (2): 487-97

    Borna disease virus (BDV) infection of the central nervous system (CNS) leads to severe neurological symptoms in susceptible MRL mice. The disease is mainly mediated by CD8+ T cells specific for the immunodominant epitope TELEISSI in the BDV nucleoprotein. In this study, TELEISSI/MHC class I tetramers were used to directly visualize antigen-specific CD8+ T cells. We found that on average approximately 30% of the ex vivo analyzed CD8+ T cells in the CNS of diseased mice were specific for TELEISSI. Unexpectedly, the frequency of tetramer-reactive brain-derived CD8+ T cells doubled following overnight culture in the absence of antigen. The majority of CD8+ T cells showed enhanced tetramer binding without up-regulation of T cell receptor surface expression. The frequency of IFN-gamma-secreting CD8+ T cells after antigen-specific stimulation was higher in overnight cultures than in freshly isolated BDV-specific brain lymphocytes, and enhanced tetramer binding correlated with elevated sensitivity to lower levels of peptide antigen in cytotoxicity assays. These results indicate that the functional avidity of virus-specific CD8+ T cells was down-modulated in vivo. Thus, quantification of tissue-infiltrating CD8+ T cells by the tetramer technique must be interpreted with caution as it may underestimate the real frequency of antigen-specific CD8+ T cells.


    Activators of potassium M currents have anticonvulsant actions in two rat models of encephalitis.

    Eur J Pharmacol 2007; 555 (1): 23-9

    Opioid systems in hippocampus regulate excitability and kappa opioids have a role in anticonvulsant protection, but their mechanisms of action are incompletely understood. We examined the ability of opioid and nonopioid agents with overlapping ionic mechanisms and actions similar to kappa opioid agonists, to block seizures in rat models of encephalitis due to Borna Disease virus and Herpes Simplex Virus Type-1. Naltrindole, a delta antagonist and thus a kappa opioid sparing agent, (10 mg/kg s.c.) blocked spontaneous and naloxone (opioid antagonist)-induced seizures in the models, but produced somatic signs similar to opioid withdrawal. Given that delta antagonists as well as kappa opioid agonists in hippocampus enhance potassium M currents (I(M)), we tested the effect of the I(M) augmenter flupirtine. Flupirtine (20 mg/kg i.p.) prevented seizures in Borna and herpes infected rats, without signs of withdrawal, hypotonia or sedation. The results support the efficacy of opioid and nonopioid drugs in modulating naloxone-induced seizures in critical illness due to viral encephalitis and by analogy, opioid withdrawal seizures.


    A synthetic cannabinoid agonist promotes oligodendrogliogenesis during viral encephalitis in rats.

    Exp Neurol 2010; 226 (1): 231-41

    Chronic CNS infection by several families of viruses can produce deficits in prefrontal cortex (PFC) and striatal function. Cannabinoid drugs have been long known for their anti-inflammatory properties and their ability to modulate adult neuro and gliogenesis. Therefore, we explored the effects of systemic administration of the cannabinoid agonist WIN55,212-2(WIN) on prefrontal cortex (PFC) and striatal cytogenesis in a viral model of CNS injury and inflammation based on Borna Disease (BD) virus encephalitis. Active BrdU(+) progenitor populations were significantly decreased 1 week after BrdU labeling in BD rats [p<0.001 compared to uninfected (NL) controls] while less than 5% of BrdU(+) cells colabeled for BDV protein. Systemic WIN (1mg/kg i.p. twice dailyx7 days) increased the survival of BrdU(+) cells in striatum (p<0.001) and PFC of BD rats, with differential regulation of labeled oligodendroglia precursors vs microglia/macrophages. WIN increased the percentage of BrdU(+) oligodendrocyte precursor cells and decreased BrdU(+) ED-1-labeled phagocytic cells, without producing pro- or antiviral effects. BDV infection decreased the levels of the endocannabinoid anandamide (AEA) in striatum (p<0.05 compared to NL rats), whereas 2-AG levels were unchanged. Our findings indicate that: 1) viral infection is accompanied by alterations of AEA transmission in the striatum, but new cell protection by WIN appears independent of its effect on endocannabinoid levels; and 2) chronic WIN treatment alters the gliogenic cascades associated with CNS injury, promoting oligodendrocyte survival. Limiting reactive gliogenesis and macrophage activity in favor of oliogodendroglia development has significance for demyelinating diseases. Moreover, the ability of cannabinoids to promote the development of biologically supportive or symbiotic oligodendroglia may generalize to other microglia-driven neurodegenerative syndromes including NeuroAIDS and diseases of aging.


    A role for endocannabinoids in viral-induced dyskinetic and convulsive phenomena.

    Exp Neurol 2005; 194 (2): 355-62

    Dyskinesias and seizures are both medically refractory disorders for which cannabinoid-based treatments have shown early promise as primary or adjunctive therapy. Using the Borna disease (BD) virus rat, an animal model of viral encephalopathy with spontaneous hyperkinetic movements and seizure susceptibility, we identified a key role for endocannabinoids in the maintenance of a balanced tone of activity in extrapyramidal and limbic circuits. BD rats showed significant elevations of the endocannabinoid anandamide in subthalamic nucleus, a relay nucleus compromised in hyperkinetic disorders. While direct and indirect cannabinoid agonists had limited motor effects in BD rats, abrupt reductions of endocannabinoid tone by the CB1 antagonist SR141716A (0.3 mg/kg, i.p.) caused seizures characterized by myoclonic jerks time-locked to periodic spike/sharp wave discharges on hippocampal electroencephalography. The general opiate antagonist naloxone (NLX) (1 mg/kg, s.c.), another pharmacologic treatment with potential efficacy in dyskinesias or L-DOPA motor complications, produced similar seizures. No changes in anandamide levels in hippocampus and amygdala were found in convulsing NLX-treated BD rats. In contrast, NLX significantly increased anandamide levels in the same areas of normal uninfected animals, possibly protecting against seizures. Pretreatment with the anandamide transport blocker AM404 (20 mg/kg, i.p.) prevented NLX-induced seizures. These findings are consistent with an anticonvulsant role for endocannabinoids, counteracting aberrant firing produced by convulsive agents, and with a functional or reciprocal relation between opioid and cannabinoid tone with respect to limbic convulsive phenomena.


    Oligomerization and assembly of the matrix protein of Borna disease virus.

    FEBS Lett 2005; 579 (12): 2686-92

    The matrix protein M of Borna disease virus (BDV) is a constituent of the viral envelope covering the inner leaflet of the lipid bilayer. BDV-M was expressed as recombinant protein in Escherichia coli, purified to homogeneity and structurally analyzed. Recombinant M (i) forms non-covalently bound multimers with a Stoke's radius of 35 Angstroms estimated by size exclusion chromatography, (ii) consists of tetramers detected by analytical ultracentrifugation, and (iii) appears by electron microscopy studies as tetramers with the tendency to assemble into high molecular mass lattice-like complexes. The structural features suggest that BDV-M possesses a dominant driving force for virus particle formation.


    Maturation of Borna disease virus glycoprotein.

    FEBS Lett 2005; 579 (21): 4751-6

    The maturation of Borna disease virus (BDV) glycoprotein GP was studied in regard to intracellular compartmentalization, compartmentalization signal-domains, proteolytic processing, and packaging into virus particles. Our data show that BDV-GP is (i) predominantly located in the endoplasmic reticulum (ER), (ii) partially exists in the ER already as cleaved subunits GP-N and GP-C, (iii) is directed to the ER/cis-Golgi region by its transmembrane and/or cytoplasmic domains in CD8-BDV-GP hybrid constructs and (iv) is incorporated in the virus particles as authentic BDV glycoprotein exclusively in the cleaved form decorated with N-glycans of the complex type. Downregulation of BDV-glycoproteins on the cell surface, their limited proteolytic processing, and protection of antigenic epitopes on the viral glycoproteins by host-identical N-glycans are different strategies for persistent virus infections.


    Identification of the amino terminal subunit of the glycoprotein of Borna disease virus.

    FEBS Lett 2002; 531 (2): 255-8

    The only surface membrane glycoprotein of Borna disease virus (BDV) is synthesized as a polypeptide with a molecular mass of 57 kDa and N-glycosylated to a precursor glycoprotein (GP) of about 94 kDa. It is processed by the cellular protease furin into the C-terminal membrane-anchored subunit GP-C, also known as gp43, and a presumptive N-terminal subunit GP-N, that is highly glycosylated and has a molecular mass of about 51 kDa. However, up to now the latter remained undetected in BDV-infected material. We describe a novel approach to identify glycan masked linear antigenic epitopes. In the present study, GP-N was identified in BDV-infected cells by a combination of lectin precipitation, enzymatic deglycosylation on blot and immunochemistry using an N-terminal specific antiserum. The GP-N has an apparent molecular mass of 45-50 kDa in its glycosylated form and 27 kDa in its deglycosylated form. N-glycan analysis revealed that the precursor GP contains only mannose-rich N-glycans, whereas GP-N and GP-C contain mannose-rich and complex-type N-glycans.


    Demonstration of Borna disease virus RNA in peripheral blood mononuclear cells derived from Japanese patients with chronic fatigue syndrome.

    FEBS Lett 1996; 378 (2): 145-9

    CFS, a recently named heterogeneous disorder, is an illness of unknown etiology. The association of CFS with viral infections has been suggested. A common association between CFS and several viruses examined has not been confirmed. Here, we centered on the possible link between CFS and BDV infection. By nested RT-PCR followed by hybridization, BDV RNA was demonstrated as a clear signal in PBMCs in 3 out of 25 CFS patients. The amplified cDNA fragments were cloned and sequenced. A total of 16 clones were studied. Intra-patients divergencies of the p24 were 2-9%, 3-20%, and 3-11% in the deduced amino acids. Inter-patient divergencies among the 16 clones were 3-24%. Antibodies to recombinant BDV p24 protein were detected in 6 CFS patients including one carrying BDV RNA. Overall, these gave the prevalence of 32% (8/25) in Japanese CFS patients, suggesting that Japanese CFS is highly associated with active infection of BDV, or a related agent.


    Demonstration of human Borna disease virus RNA in human peripheral blood mononuclear cells.

    FEBS Lett 1995; 364 (3): 293-7

    BDV naturally infects horses and sheep, and causes sporadic neurological disease. Serological evidence suggests an association of BDV, or a related virus, with specific psychiatric diseases in humans. Here, by using a nested RT-PCR technique, we demonstrate that human BDV RNA is present in the PBMC of psychiatric patients. In an examination of a total of 60 patients from 5 wards of a hospital in Japan, the detection rate differed within each ward, ranging from 8% to > 50% (37% on the average). Of particular note was the finding that the human derived BDV sequences, which included deleted forms in about 23% of the positive samples, were slightly different from those derived from horse BDV. These results suggest urgent consideration of the measures to be taken to cope with the effects of blood transfusion. In addition, the detection of a high level of BDV in the PBMC of patients will help our understanding of the pathogenesis in the disease.


    Potential Links between Hepadnavirus and Bornavirus Sequences in the Host Genome and Cancer.

    Front Microbiol 2017; 8 (): 2537

    Various viruses leave their sequences in the host genomes during infection. Such events occur mainly in retrovirus infection but also sometimes in DNA and non-retroviral RNA virus infections. If viral sequences are integrated into the genomes of germ line cells, the sequences can become inherited as endogenous viral elements (EVEs). The integration events of viral sequences may have oncogenic potential. Because proviral integrations of some retroviruses and/or reactivation of endogenous retroviruses are closely linked to cancers, viral insertions related to non-retroviral viruses also possibly contribute to cancer development. This article focuses on genomic viral sequences derived from two non-retroviral viruses, whose endogenization is already reported, and discusses their possible contributions to cancer. Viral insertions of hepatitis B virus play roles in the development of hepatocellular carcinoma. Endogenous bornavirus-like elements, the only non-retroviral RNA virus-related EVEs found in the human genome, may also be involved in cancer formation. In addition, the possible contribution of the interactions between viruses and retrotransposons, which seem to be a major driving force for generating EVEs related to non-retroviral RNA viruses, to cancers will be discussed. Future studies regarding the possible links described here may open a new avenue for the development of novel therapeutics for tumor virus-related cancers and/or provide novel insights into EVE functions.


    Intranasal Location and Immunohistochemical Characterization of the Equine Olfactory Epithelium.

    Front Neuroanat 2016; 10 (): 97

    The olfactory epithelium (OE) is the only body site where neurons contact directly the environment and are therefore exposed to a broad variation of substances and insults. It can serve as portal of entry for neurotropic viruses which spread via the olfactory pathway to the central nervous system. For horses, it has been proposed and concluded mainly from rodent studies that different viruses, e.g., Borna disease virus, equine herpesvirus 1 (EHV-1), hendra virus, influenza virus, rabies virus, vesicular stomatitis virus can use this route. However, little is yet known about cytoarchitecture, protein expression and the intranasal location of the equine OE. Revealing differences in cytoarchitecture or protein expression pattern in comparison to rodents, canines, or humans might help to explain varying susceptibility to certain intranasal virus infections. On the other hand, disclosing similarities especially between rodents and other species, e.g., horses would help to underscore transferability of rodent models. Analysis of the complete noses of five adult horses revealed that in the equine OE two epithelial subtypes with distinct marker expression exist, designated as types a and b which resemble those previously described in dogs. Detailed statistical analysis was carried out to confirm the results obtained on the descriptive level. The equine OE was predominantly located in caudodorsal areas of the nasal turbinates with a significant decline in rostroventral direction, especially for type a. Immunohistochemically, olfactory marker protein and doublecortin (DCX) expression was found in more cells of OE type a, whereas expression of proliferating cell nuclear antigen and tropomyosin receptor kinase A was present in more cells of type b. Accordingly, type a resembles the mature epithelium, in contrast to the more juvenile type b. Protein expression profile was comparable to canine and rodent OE but equine types a and b were located differently within the nose and revealed differences in its cytoarchitecture when compared to canine OE. Equine OE type a closely resembles rat OE. Whether the observed differences contribute to species-specific susceptibility to intranasal insults such as virus infections has to be further investigated.


    A novel intranuclear RNA vector system for long-term stem cell modification.

    Gene Ther 2016; 23 (3): 256-62

    Genetically modified stem and progenitor cells have emerged as a promising regenerative platform in the treatment of genetic and degenerative disorders, highlighted by their successful therapeutic use in inherent immunodeficiencies. However, biosafety concerns over insertional mutagenesis resulting from integrating recombinant viral vectors have overshadowed the widespread clinical applications of genetically modified stem cells. Here, we report an RNA-based episomal vector system, amenable for long-term transgene expression in stem cells. Specifically, we used a unique intranuclear RNA virus, borna disease virus (BDV), as the gene transfer vehicle, capable of persistent infections in various cell types. BDV-based vectors allowed for long-term transgene expression in mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) without affecting cellular morphology, cell surface CD105 expression or the adipogenicity of MSCs. Similarly, replication-defective BDV vectors achieved long-term transduction of human induced pluripotent stem cells, while maintaining the ability to differentiate into three embryonic germ layers. Thus, the BDV-based vectors offer a genomic modification-free, episomal RNA delivery system for sustained stem cell transduction.


    Genome-wide profiling of long noncoding RNA expression patterns and CeRNA analysis in mouse cortical neurons infected with different strains of borna disease virus.

    Genes Dis 2019; 6 (2): 147-158

    Borna disease virus 1 (BoDV-1) is neurotropic prototype of Bornaviruses causing neurological diseases and maintaining persistent infection in brain cells of mammalian species. Long non-coding RNA (lncRNA) is transcript of more than 200 nucleotides without protein-coding function regulating various biological processes as proliferation, apoptosis, cell migration and viral infection. However, regulatory of lncRNAs in BoDV-1 infection remains unknown. To identify differential expression profiles and predict functions of lncRNA in BoDV-1 infection, microarray data showed that 3528 lncRNAs and 2661 lncRNAs were differentially expressed in Strain V and Hu-H1 BoDV-infected groups compared with control groups, respectively. Gene Ontology (GO) and pathway analysis suggested that differential lncRNAs may be involved in regulation of metabolic, biological regulation, cellular process, endocytosis, viral infections and cell adhesion processes, cancer in both BoDV-infected strains. ENSMUST00000128469 was found down-regulated in both BoDV-infected groups compared with control groups consistent with microarray (p < 0.05). ceRNA analysis indicated possible interaction networks as ENSMUST00000128469/miR-22-5p, miR-206-3p, miR-302b-5p, miR-302c-3p, miR-1a-3p/Igf1. Igf1 was found up-regulated in both BoDV-infected groups compared with control groups (p < 0.05). Possible functions of predicted target mRNAs and miRNAs of ENSMUST00000128469 were involved in cell proliferation, transcriptional misregulation and proteoglycan pathways enriched in cancer. lncRNA may be involved in regulation of Hu-H1 inhibited cell proliferation and promoted apoptosis through NF-kB, JNK/MAPK signaling, BCL2 and CDK6/E2F1 pathways different from Strain V. Possible interaction networks as ENSMUST00000128469/miR-22-5p, miR-206-3p, miR-302b-5p, miR-302c-3p, miR-1a-3p/Igf1 may involve in regulation of cell proliferation, apoptosis, and cancer.


    Origin of an endogenous bornavirus-like nucleoprotein element in thirteen-lined ground squirrels.

    Genes Genet Syst 2014; 89 (3): 143-8

    Endogenous bornavirus-like nucleoprotein (EBLN) elements are nucleotide sequences homologous to the bornavirus N gene that have been identified in animal genomes. EBLN elements are considered to have been generated through reverse transcription of bornavirus N mRNA, mainly with the aid of long interspersed element-1 (LINE-1). The genome of thirteen-lined ground squirrels (Ictidomys tridecemlineatus) contains an EBLN element, itEBLN, which is thought to have been integrated less than 8.5 million years ago (MYA). However, it was also reported that the LINE-1 activity on this lineage was lost 4-5 MYA. Here, molecular evolutionary analyses were conducted to gain insights into the integration time of itEBLN. In a phylogenetic analysis of bornavirus N and itEBLN, using an EBLN element from cape golden moles (Chrysochloris asiatica) (caEBLN) as the outgroup, the integration time of itEBLN appeared to be close to the time of the most recent common ancestor (MRCA) for bornavirus N. From an analysis of genomic sequences for bornavirus strains isolated at different time points, the time of the MRCA for bornavirus N was estimated to be < 0.3 MYA. These results suggest that the integration time of itEBLN was much later than the loss of LINE-1 activity, supporting the non-LINE-1-mediated integration of itEBLN.


    Role of Borna disease virus in neuropsychiatric illnesses: are we inching closer?

    Indian J Med Microbiol 2009; 27 (3): 191-201

    The biological cause of psychiatric illnesses continues to be under intense scrutiny. Among the various neurotropic viruses, Borna disease virus (BDV) is another virus that preferentially targets the neurons of the limbic system and has been shown to be associated with behavioural abnormalities. Presence of various BDV markers, including viral RNA, in patients with affective and mood disorders have triggered ongoing debate worldwide regarding its aetiopathogenic relationship. This article analyses its current state of knowledge and recent advances in diagnosis in order to prove or refute the association of BDV in causation of human neuropsychiatric disorders. This emerging viral causative association of behavioural disorders, which seems to be inching closer, has implication not only for a paradigm shift in the treatment and management of neuropsychiatric illnesses but also has an important impact on the public health systems.

  • Borna virus
  • *19584498*

    Intranasal Borna Disease Virus (BoDV-1) Infection: Insights into Initial Steps and Potential Contagiosity.

    Int J Mol Sci 2019; 20 (6):;

    Mammalian Bornavirus (BoDV-1) typically causes a fatal neurologic disorder in horses and sheep, and was recently shown to cause fatal encephalitis in humans with and without transplant reception. It has been suggested that BoDV-1 enters the central nervous system (CNS) via the olfactory pathway. However, (I) susceptible cell types that replicate the virus for successful spread, and (II) the role of olfactory ensheathing cells (OECs), remained unclear. To address this, we studied the intranasal infection of adult rats with BoDV-1 in vivo and in vitro, using olfactory mucosal (OM) cell cultures and the cultures of purified OECs. Strikingly, in vitro and in vivo, viral antigen and mRNA were present from four days post infection (dpi) onwards in the olfactory receptor neurons (ORNs), but also in all other cell types of the OM, and constantly in the OECs. In contrast, in vivo, BoDV-1 genomic RNA was only detectable in adult and juvenile ORNs, nerve fibers, and in OECs from 7 dpi on. In vitro, the rate of infection of OECs was significantly higher than that of the OM cells, pointing to a crucial role of OECs for infection via the olfactory pathway. Thus, this study provides important insights into the transmission of neurotropic viral infections with a zoonotic potential.


    GC-MS-Based Metabonomic Profiling Displayed Differing Effects of Borna Disease Virus Natural Strain Hu-H1 and Laboratory Strain V Infection in Rat Cortical Neurons.

    Int J Mol Sci 2015; 16 (8): 19347-68;

    Borna disease virus (BDV) persists in the central nervous systems of a wide variety of vertebrates and causes behavioral disorders. Previous studies have revealed that metabolic perturbations are associated with BDV infection. However, the pathophysiological effects of different viral strains remain largely unknown. Rat cortical neurons infected with human strain BDV Hu-H1, laboratory BDV Strain V, and non-infected control (CON) cells were cultured in vitro. At day 12 post-infection, a gas chromatography coupled with mass spectrometry (GC-MS) metabonomic approach was used to differentiate the metabonomic profiles of 35 independent intracellular samples from Hu-H1-infected cells (n = 12), Strain V-infected cells (n = 12), and CON cells (n = 11). Partial least squares discriminant analysis (PLS-DA) was performed to demonstrate discrimination between the three groups. Further statistical testing determined which individual metabolites displayed significant differences between groups. PLS-DA demonstrated that the whole metabolic pattern enabled statistical discrimination between groups. We identified 31 differential metabolites in the Hu-H1 and CON groups (21 decreased and 10 increased in Hu-H1 relative to CON), 35 differential metabolites in the Strain V and CON groups (30 decreased and 5 increased in Strain V relative to CON), and 21 differential metabolites in the Hu-H1 and Strain V groups (8 decreased and 13 increased in Hu-H1 relative to Strain V). Comparative metabonomic profiling revealed divergent perturbations in key energy and amino acid metabolites between natural strain Hu-H1 and laboratory Strain V of BDV. The two BDV strains differentially alter metabolic pathways of rat cortical neurons in vitro. Their systematic classification provides a valuable template for improved BDV strain definition in future studies.


    Real-time qPCR identifies suitable reference genes for Borna disease virus-infected rat cortical neurons.

    Int J Mol Sci 2014; 15 (12): 21825-39;

    Quantitative real-time reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-qPCR) is the most commonly-used technique to identify gene expression profiles. The selection of stably expressed reference genes is a prerequisite to properly evaluating gene expression. Here, the suitability of commonly-used reference genes in normalizing RT-qPCR assays of mRNA expression in cultured rat cortical neurons infected with Borna disease virus (BDV) was assessed. The expressions of eight commonly-used reference genes were comparatively analyzed in BDV-infected rat cortical neurons and non-infected control neurons mainly across 9 and 12 days post-infection. These reference genes were validated by RT-qPCR and separately ranked by four statistical algorithms: geNorm, NormFinder, BestKeeper and the comparative delta-Ct method. Then, the RankAggreg package was used to construct consensus rankings. ARBP was found to be the most stable internal control gene at Day 9, and ACTB at Day 12. As the assessment of the validity of the selected reference genes confirms the suitability of applying a combination of the two most stable references genes, combining the two most stable genes for normalization of RT-qPCR studies in BDV-infected rat cortical neurons is recommended at each time point. This study can contribute to improving BDV research by providing the means by which to obtain more reliable and accurate gene expression measurements.


    Animal models of CNS viral disease: examples from borna disease virus models.

    Interdiscip Perspect Infect Dis 2010; 2010 (): 709791

    Borna disease (BD), caused by the neurotropic RNA virus, Borna Disease virus, is an affliction ranging from asymptomatic to fatal meningoencephalitis across naturally and experimentally infected warmblooded (mammalian and bird) species. More than 100 years after the first clinical descriptions of Borna disease in horses and studies beginning in the 1980's linking Borna disease virus to human neuropsychiatric diseases, experimentally infected rodents have been used as models for examining behavioral, neuropharmacological, and neurochemical responses to viral challenge at different stages of life. These studies have contributed to understanding the role of CNS viral injury in vulnerability to behavioral, developmental, epileptic, and neurodegenerative diseases and aided evaluation of the proposed and still controversial links to human disease.


    No molecular evidence of Borna disease virus among schizophrenia and bipolar disorder patients in Iran.

    Iran J Microbiol 2017; 9 (2): 112-118

    Background and Objectives: Viruses have been suggested as one of the risk factors for psychiatric disorders. Among infectious agents Borna disease virus (BDV) has been known as a neurotropic virus which is able to cause neurological disorders in different animals. Recently there were controversial findings about BDV association with pathogenesis of human psychotic disorders. Materials and Methods: Here we performed a nested reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction for detection of BDV P40 RNA in peripheral blood mononuclear cell samples of schizophrenia (SC), bipolar disorder (BD) patients and healthy controls (HCs). Results: Only one out of 120 (0.8 %) psychiatric patients and two samples (2.7%) in 75 HCs showed positive results. There were no significant molecular evidence of BDV infection in 120 psychotic patients (60 SC and 60 BD) and 75 matched HCs. Conclusion: Our findings showed no association between BDV infection and pathogenesis of these psychiatric disorders. This is an interesting issue given both the as yet un-clarified role of BDV in human mental disorders and addressing patients in the so far under-investigating Middle East era.


    Detection of Borna Disease Virus (BDV) in Patients with First Episode of Schizophrenia.

    Iran J Psychiatry 2016; 11 (4): 257-261

    Objective: Schizophrenia is a complex widespread neuropsychiatric disorder. This illness encompasses a complex debilitating mental disorder causing illusion, delusion, disturbed relationship, low motivation and decline of emotion. Viral infection of the brain including Borna Disease Virus (BDV) may play a role in transient or permanent neurological and behavioral abnormalities. This role of Borna virus has not been resolved outright yet, and based on published papers investigation examining the role of this virus in schizophrenia is in progress worldwide. Method: In this study, Nested Reverse Transcription-Polymerase Chain Reaction (Nested RT-PCR) was used for detection of BDV Ribonucleic Acid (RNA) in Peripheral Blood Mononuclear Cells (PBMCs) of a group of patients experiencing the first episode of schizophrenia. The results were compared with a normal group. Results: In our study, no BDV-positive was found in PBMCs of the case group. Out of 40 participants of control group one was positive for P24 gene of BDV. This result are similar to several published papers about this topic. Conclusion: An etiological relationship between Bornavirus and schizophrenia was not found in this study. More investigations are warranted to illustrate the probable relationship between bornavirus infection and schizophrenia.


    Borna Disease Virus Assembles Porous Cage-like Viral Factories in the Nucleus.

    J Biol Chem 2016; 291 (50): 25789-25798;

    Animal-derived RNA viruses frequently generate viral factories in infected cells. However, the details of how RNA viruses build such intracellular structures are poorly understood. In this study, we examined the structure and formation of the viral factories, called viral speckle of transcripts (vSPOTs), that are produced in the nuclei of host cells by Borna disease virus (BDV). Super-resolution microscopic analysis showed that BDV assembled vSPOTs as intranuclear cage-like structures with 59-180-nm pores. The viral nucleoprotein formed the exoskeletons of vSPOTs, whereas the other viral proteins appeared to be mainly localized within these structures. In addition, stochastic optical reconstruction microscopy revealed that filamentous structures resembling viral ribonucleoprotein complexes (RNPs) appeared to protrude from the outer surfaces of the vSPOTs. We also found that vSPOTs disintegrated into RNPs concurrently with the breakdown of the nuclear envelope during mitosis. These observations demonstrated that BDV generates viral replication factories whose shape and formation are regulated, suggesting the mechanism of the integrity of RNA virus persistent infection in the nucleus.


    Overlap of interaction domains indicates a central role of the P protein in assembly and regulation of the Borna disease virus polymerase complex.

    J Biol Chem 2004; 279 (53): 55290-6

    The active polymerase complex of Borna disease virus is composed of the viral proteins N, P, and L. The viral X (negative regulatory factor) protein acts as a regulator of polymerase activity. Interactions of P with N and X were previously studied, but interactions with L were poorly defined. Using a mammalian two-hybrid system, we observed that L specifically interacts with P but not with N, X, or itself. Mapping of the L-binding domain in the P molecule revealed that it overlaps with two adjacent domains required for multimerization and interaction with N. Competition experiments showed that the interaction between L and P was inefficient when N was present, indicating that L may preferentially interact with free P in infected cells. Interestingly, a multimerization-defective P mutant maintained the ability to interact with L, N, and X but failed to support reporter gene expression from an artificial Borna disease virus minigenome. Furthermore, dominant negative effects on minigenome activity were only observed when P mutants with an intact multimerization domain were used, suggesting that P multimers, rather than monomers, exhibit biological activity. P mutants lacking functional interaction domains for L or N still formed complexes with these viral proteins when wild-type P was available as a bridging molecule, indicating that P multimers have the potential to act as scaffolds on which the RNA polymerase complex is assembled.


    Characterization of an unusual importin alpha binding motif in the borna disease virus p10 protein that directs nuclear import.

    J Biol Chem 2002; 277 (14): 12151-7

    Nuclear import of many cellular and viral proteins is mediated by short nuclear localization signals (NLS) that are recognized by intracellular receptor proteins belonging to the importin/karyopherin alpha and beta families. The primary structure of NLS is not well defined, but most contain at least three basic amino acids and harbor the relative consensus sequence K(K/R)X(K/R). We have studied the nuclear import of the Borna disease virus p10 protein that lacks a canonical oligobasic NLS. It is shown that the p10 protein exhibits all characteristics of an actively transported molecule in digitonin-permeabilized cells. Import activity was found to reside in the 20 N-terminal p10 amino acids that are devoid of an NLS consensus motif. Unexpectedly, p10-dependent import was blocked by a peptide inhibitor of importin alpha-dependent nuclear translocation, and the transport activity of the p10 N-terminal domain was shown to correlate with the ability to bind to importin alpha. These findings suggest that nuclear import of the Borna disease virus p10 protein occurs through a nonconventional karyophilic signal and highlight that the cellular importin alpha NLS receptor proteins can recognize nuclear targeting signals that substantially deviate from the consensus sequence.


    Borna disease virus persistent infection activates mitogen-activated protein kinase and blocks neuronal differentiation of PC12 cells.

    J Biol Chem 2001; 276 (10): 7258-65

    Persistence of Borna disease virus (BDV) in the central nervous system causes damage to specific neuronal populations. BDV is noncytopathic, and the mechanisms underlying neuronal pathology are not well understood. One hypothesis is that infection affects the response of neurons to factors that are crucial for their proliferation, differentiation, or survival. To test this hypothesis, we analyzed the response of PC12 cells persistently infected with BDV to the neurotrophin nerve growth factor (NGF). PC12 is a neural crest-derived cell line that exhibits features of neuronal differentiation in response to NGF. We report that persistence of BDV led to a progressive change of phenotype of PC12 cells and blocked neurite outgrowth in response to NGF. Infection down-regulated the expression of synaptophysin and growth-associated protein-43, two molecules involved in neuronal plasticity, as well as the expression of the chromaffin-specific gene tyrosine hydroxylase. We showed that the block in response to NGF was due in part to the down-regulation of NGF receptors. Moreover, although BDV caused constitutive activation of the ERK1/2 pathway, activated ERKs were not translocated to the nucleus efficiently. These observations may account for the absence of neuronal differentiation of persistently infected PC12 cells treated with NGF.


    A naturally processed rat major histocompatibility complex class I-associated viral peptide as target structure of borna disease virus-specific CD8+ T cells.

    J Biol Chem 2001; 276 (17): 13689-94

    The first naturally processed peptide synthesized by a virus and recognized by classical CD8(+) T cells in association with the RT1.A(l) major histocompatibility complex class I molecule of the Lewis rat is reported. Borna disease virus-specific CD8(+) T cells recognize syngeneic target cells pulsed with peptides extracted from Borna disease virus-infected cells. The predicted peptide sequence ASYAQMTTY from the viral p40 protein coeluted with the cytotoxic T-lymphocyte-reactive fraction was identified among natural ligands by tandem mass spectrometry. Numerous naturally processed peptides derived from intracellular bacteria, viruses, or tumors and recognized by CD8(+) T cells of man and mice are known, leading to a better understanding of cellular immune mechanisms against pathogens in these two species. In contrast, for the rat little information exists with regard to the function and role of CD8(+) T cells as part of their cellular immune defense system. This first naturally processed viral epitope in the rat contributes to the understanding of the rat cellular immune response and might trigger the identification of more cytotoxic T-lymphocyte epitopes in this animal.


    Interactions of the borna disease virus P, N, and X proteins and their functional implications.

    J Biol Chem 1998; 273 (15): 9007-12

    Borna disease virus (BDV) causes persistent central nervous system infection and behavioral disturbances in warm-blooded animals. Protein interaction studies were pursued to gain insight into the functions of the putative nucleoprotein (N), phosphoprotein (P), atypical glycoprotein (gp18), and X protein (X) of BDV. Coimmunoprecipitation experiments indicated that N and P, and P and X, form complexes in infected cells. Two-hybrid analyses confirmed interactions between P and P, P and X, and P and N, but not between P and gp18, N and gp18, X and gp18, or X and N. Analysis of P truncation mutants identified three nonoverlapping regions important for oligomerization (amino acids (aa) 135-172), and binding to X (aa 33-115) or N (aa 197-201). Coexpression of X stimulated oligomerization of P but decreased N-P complex formation. Immunocytochemistry of transfected noninfected CHO cells demonstrated that the distribution of X is dependent upon the presence of P-X expressed alone was found predominantly in the cytoplasm whereas coexpression of X and P resulted in nuclear localization. Immunocytochemistry of infected cells revealed nuclear colocalization of P and X. Interactions of P, N, and X may have implications for regulation of BDV transcription/replication and ribonucleoprotein assembly.


    Borna disease virus P-protein is phosphorylated by protein kinase Cepsilon and casein kinase II.

    J Biol Chem 1997; 272 (35): 21818-23

    Borna disease virus (BDV) is a newly classified nonsegmented negative-strand RNA virus (order of Mononegavirales) that persistently infects specific brain regions and circuits of warm-blooded animals to cause behavioral disturbances. Viruses within the order of Mononegavirales have phosphoproteins that typically serve as transcription factors and are modulated in functional activity through phosphorylation. To identify the kinases involved in BDV phosphoprotein (BDV-P) phosphorylation, in vitro phosphorylation assays were performed using recombinant phosphoprotein produced in Escherichia coli as substrate and cytoplasmic extracts from a rat glioma cell line (C6) or rat brain extracts as sources of kinase activity. These experiments revealed that BDV-P was phosphorylated predominantly by protein kinase C (PKC) and to a lesser extent by casein kinase II. Partial purification of the PKC from rat brain extract suggested that the BDV-P phosphorylating kinase is PKCepsilon. A role for PKC phosphorylation in vivo was confirmed by using the PKC-specific inhibitor GF109203X. Furthermore, peptide mapping studies indicated that BDV-P is phosphorylated at the same sites in vitro as it is in vivo. Mutational analysis identified Ser26 and Ser28 as sites for PKC phosphorylation and Ser70 and Ser86 as sites for casein kinase II phosphorylation. The anatomic distribution of PKCepsilon in the central nervous system may have implications for BDV neurotropism and pathogenesis.


    Borna disease virus RNA in immunocompromised patients in southwestern France.

    J Clin Microbiol 2003; 41 (12): 5577-81

    Borna disease virus (BDV) is a neurotropic RNA virus with a wide host range. Human infections, although controversial, have been described in Europe, Asia, and the United States. The present study investigated the existence of BDV infections in immunocompromised human beings, namely, 82 human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)-infected and 80 therapeutically immunosuppressed patients. BDV p40 RNAs were detected in peripheral white blood cells with reverse transcription-nested PCR and hybridization in, respectively, 11 (13.41%) and 1 (1.25%) of the two groups of patients. BDV p24 RNAs were identified in only one of those. BDV RNA was detected in the absence of any neuropsychiatrical illness, suggesting that BDV infections may occur in asymptomatic carriers. The severity and particularity of cellular immunosuppression could explain the significantly increased detection of BDV RNA in HIV-infected patients.


    Immunological and PCR analyses for Borna disease virus in psychiatric patients and blood donors in Japan.

    J Clin Microbiol 2001; 39 (2): 419-29

    The involvement of Borna disease virus (BDV) in psychiatric diseases in humans remains controversial. T-cell memory response and seroprevalence of BDV in patients with psychiatric disorders and blood donors in Japan were evaluated collectively by Western blot (WB) analysis with inhibition test, electrochemiluminescence immunoassay, immunofluorescence assay, and T-cell proliferative response as well as detection of BDV p24 RNA in peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs). Positive proliferative responses to both BDV p40 and p24 proteins were detected in 9% of patients with mood disorders (4 of 45), 4% of schizophrenic patients (2 of 45), and 2% of blood donors (1 of 45). By WB analysis, the antibody to BDV p40 was detected only in 2% of patients with mood disorders (1 of 45). The BDV p24 antibody was detected in 2% of patients with mood disorders (1 of 45) and 9% of schizophrenic patients. (4 of 45) No plasma reacted with both BDV proteins. The finding of a lower seroprevalence than previously reported suggests the presence of false-positive cases in the previous report. BDV RNA was detected only in 2% of patients with mood disorders (1 of 45). In these three serological assays, T-cell responses, and PCR analysis, there was no significant difference in the prevalence among the three groups. However, we found three psychiatric patients who were positive for both BDV antibodies and T-cell proliferative responses and one patient who was positive for BDV RNA in PBMCs. These findings suggest the usefulness of the proliferative T-cell response and that certain individuals are infected with BDV or a BDV-related virus.


    Borna disease in a free-ranging lynx (Lynx lynx).

    J Clin Microbiol 2000; 38 (8): 3087-91

    A free-ranging lynx (Lynx lynx) was shot because of its abnormal behavior. Histopathological examination revealed a nonsuppurative meningoencephalitis. In situ hybridization, immunohistochemistry, and reverse transcriptase PCR analysis showed the presence of Borna disease virus infection in the brain. To our knowledge, this is the first confirmed case of Borna disease in a large felid.


    Borna disease in a dog with lethal meningoencephalitis.

    J Clin Microbiol 1998; 36 (7): 2127-30

    A dog was euthanatized because of progressive neurological signs. Histologically, a nonsuppurative meningoencephalitis was found. By immunohistochemistry, in situ hybridization, and nested PCR procedures, Borna disease virus (BDV) antigen and BDV-specific RNA were demonstrated in brain tissues of the dog. The nucleotide sequence of the PCR product showed 94 to 98% homology to published BDV sequences. This is the first description of Borna disease in a dog.


    A reverse-type sandwich enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay for detecting antibodies to Borna disease virus.

    J Clin Microbiol 1997; 35 (7): 1661-6

    To investigate whether there is an epidemiological correlation between Borna disease virus (BDV) infection and human neuropsychiatric diseases, we established a reverse-type sandwich enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (RS-ELISA) for detecting specific antibodies to BDV. In this assay, microplate wells were coated dispersely with BDV p40 antigen, followed by the addition of test samples at a low dilution and then the biotinylated p40. A preformed complex of streptavidin and horseradish peroxidase-conjugated biotin and an enzyme substrate were used to measure the captured biotinylated p40. Theoretically, RS-ELISA should specifically detect anti-BDV antibodies without nonspecific signals; such signals possibly occur in conventional serological assays. Additionally, the RS-ELISA could be applied under the same protocols to test samples from a variety of animals. By using anti-BDV rat and rabbit sera, the assay was standardized so that it had high specificity and sensitivity. When we used the RS-ELISA to determine the presence of anti-BDV antibodies in plasma from 70 patients with chronic schizophrenia as well as 40 healthy individuals in the Tokyo area of Japan, no plasma sample was found to possess specific antibodies to BDV p40, indicating no association between BDV infection and the disease in our testing population. A negative reaction was also shown for the sera that had previously been judged to be seropositive for BDV by an immunofluorescence or immunoblot test. These findings suggested that false-positive cases of infection due to nonspecific reactions may be included in previous seroepidemiological information with regard to BDV.


    Demonstration of borna disease virus RNA in peripheral blood mononuclear cells derived from domestic cats in Japan.

    J Clin Microbiol 1996; 34 (1): 188-91

    Borna disease virus (BDV) naturally infects horses, sheep, and several other species, including humans, and it is believed to be related to neurological disorders. BDV infection in domestic cats has also been demonstrated by serological assays. We demonstrated for the first time BDV RNA in peripheral blood mononuclear cells from 11 of 83 (13.3%) randomly selected domestic cats in Japan by nested reverse transcriptase-PCR. The BDVs from cats were similar to but slightly different from those from horses and humans, as shown by sequencing the reverse transcriptase-PCR products. None of the cats was positive for both BDV RNA and anti-BDV antibodies.


    Description of feline nonsuppurative meningoencephalomyelitis ("staggering disease") and studies of its etiology.

    J Clin Microbiol 1995; 33 (6): 1668-9

    A spontaneous neurological disease in domestic cats is described. The clinical signs included staggering gait, hind limb ataxia, and paresis. Histologically, a nonsuppurative meningoencephalomyelitis with a characteristic distribution pattern was found, indicating a viral etiology. In serum samples from diseased cats, antibodies to Borna disease virus were demonstrated.


    Enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay for detecting antibodies to Borna disease virus-specific proteins.

    J Clin Microbiol 1995; 33 (2): 348-51

    Borna disease virus is a unique neurotropic RNA virus that causes neurologic disease in a wide variety of animal hosts. We established an enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay for the detection of antibodies to Borna disease virus on the basis of the use of three recombinant viral proteins (recp40, recp23, and recp18). This assay system is more sensitive and rapid than the methods currently used for the serologic diagnosis of infection such as Western blotting (immunoblotting), indirect immunofluorescence test, or immunoprecipitation.


    Detection of Borna disease virus RNA in formalin-fixed, paraffin-embedded brain tissues by nested PCR.

    J Clin Microbiol 1995; 33 (4): 821-3

    A method for detecting Borna disease virus (BDV) RNA in formalin-fixed, paraffin-embedded brain tissue sections was established. By digestion with proteinase K and subsequent extraction with guanidinium thiocyanate, phenol, and chloroform, we were able to efficiently release RNA from the fixed tissues. By reverse transcription of the RNA and nested PCR a 212-bp product was generated, as expected.


    Plaque assay for rabies serogroup viruses in vero cells.

    J Clin Microbiol 1975; 1 (2): 241-2

    Plaque formation in Vero cells has been induced with seven rabies serogroup viruses either cocultivated as infected BHK-21 or Aedes albopictus cells, or directly cultivated as infected mouse brain.


    Borna disease virus-specific T cells protect against or cause immunopathological Borna disease.

    J Exp Med 1994; 179 (5): 1467-73

    In this report we show that passive immunization of Lewis rats with viable CD4+, Borna disease virus (BDV)-specific T cells before infection with BDV resulted in protection against BD, whereas inoculation of these T cells after BDV infection induced clinical disease with more rapid onset than seen in BDV control animals. The protective as well as encephalitogenic effector functions of BDV-specific CD4+ T cells were mediated only by viable BDV-specific T cells. The protective situation was obtained by passive transfer of BDV-specific T cells into animals inoculated later with virus, whereas the immunopathological situation was observed when virus-specific T cells developed normally or after adoptive transfer, and appeared on the scene after considerable virus replication in the brain.


    Lysis of major histocompatibility complex class I-bearing cells in Borna disease virus-induced degenerative encephalopathy.

    J Exp Med 1993; 178 (1): 163-74

    CD8+ as well as CD4+ T cells and macrophages are of crucial importance for the pathogenesis of Borna disease in rats. This virus-induced immunopathological disease of the brain is characterized by neurological symptoms in the acute phase and chronic debility associated with severe loss of brain tissue in the late stage. We demonstrate here the cytotoxic activity of T lymphocytes in the brain of intracerebrally infected rats. T cells isolated from the brain of infected rats lyse major histocompatibility complex (MHC) class I-bearing target cells in the absence of MHC class II. Borna disease virus (BDV)-infected syngeneic skin cells and astrocytes, the latter one of the relevant target cells in vivo, were significantly lysed whereas infected allogeneic target cells were not. Most relevant to the in vivo situation, primary brain cell cultures propagated from the hippocampus of BDV-infected rats containing considerable numbers of neurons were lysed in vitro. Blocking experiments using antibodies directed against MHC class I antigen provided further evidence for the presence and activity of classical cytotoxic T lymphocytes. Antibodies against MHC class II antigen did not influence lysis of skin target cells but had an effect on lysis of astrocytes at late time points. Lymphocytes isolated from spleen, peripheral blood, or lymph nodes did not show cytotoxic activity. These results verify, on the cellular level, earlier findings that strongly suggest the involvement of CD8+ T cells in brain cell lesions, resulting in brain atrophy long after infection of rats with BDV. This is further evidenced by the presence of CD8+ T cells in direct proximity to neuronal cell lesions. Interestingly, the cytolytic capacity, demonstrated in vitro and strongly correlated to organ destruction, does not result in elimination of the virus but the virus persists in the central nervous system.


    Borna disease, a progressive meningoencephalomyelitis as a model for CD4+ T cell-mediated immunopathology in the brain.

    J Exp Med 1989; 170 (3): 1045-50

    A homogeneous T cell line NM1 with Borna disease (BD) virus reactivity could be established. The NM1 cells have been characterized as CD4+ T cells. Adoptive transfer revealed that this MHC class II-restricted immune cell is responsible for the immunopathological effect leading to BD, a progressive meningoencephalomyelitis.


    Studies on entry and egress of poliomyelitic infection. VI. Centrifugal spread of the virus into peripheral nerve with notes on its possible implications.

    J Exp Med 1953; 97 (3): 455-65

    We have demonstrated a progressive centrifugal migration of poliomyelitis virus from the CNS into various peripheral ganglia and into peripheral nerves, including their distal portions. This phenomenon appears to be a regular occurrence in experimental animals, and is similar to that found in two other neurotropic infections, rabies and Borna disease. Viremia appears to be secondary to primary neural infection. The presence of virus in the lumen of the alimentary tract appears to be secondary to primary neural infection and not to viremia, and to be associated with the centrifugal spread of virus in peripheral nerves. The presence of virus in "extraneural" tissues is not per se referable to infection of their constituent cells but rather to infection of their supplying nerves or, in some instances, to their content of virus-bearing blood. The finding of virus in the vagus nerve may throw light on some of the electrocardiographic changes noted in certain cases of human poliomyelitis. The presence of virus in peripheral nerves may throw light on the etiology of the most frequent clinical manifestations of human poliomyelitis, localized pain and tenderness.



    J Exp Med 1934; 59 (5): 529-42

    The virus of equine encephalomyelitis (eastern strain) evokes in the horse, calf, sheep and dog an unusually intense encephalomyelitis characterized by acute primary degeneration of nerve cells, the appearance in neurons of the brain stem and elsewhere of nuclear inclusions resembling those in Borna disease and poliomyelitis, polymorphonuclear infiltration in the nervous tissues with early microglial proliferation, and perivascular cuffing with mononuclears and polymorphonuclears in varying proportions. The grey matter is affected more than the white. Lesions may be less marked in the striatum, brain stem and cord than in the cerebral cortex, thalamus and hypothalamic region, and are always of low grade in the cerebellum. Meningeal infiltration is secondary. Similar changes produced in the horse by the western strain of virus are less intense and extensive. In the guinea pig, rabbit and mouse, the eastern virus causes an acute encephalomyelitis which, as is usual in neurotropic virus diseases of these lowly species, has a special tendency to affect the higher olfactory centers. In addition to inclusions in the nerve cells, tiny oxyphilic bodies occur with less frequency in the glial and mesodermal nuclei of the guinea pig. In this animal, too, interstitial or bronchopneumonia may complicate the picture. In the guinea pig the disease resulting from infection with the western virus may be indistinguishable from that due to the eastern.



    J Exp Med 1931; 53 (1): 43-50

    The Reynals factor promotes the pathogenic action of the viruses of herpes, vesicular stomatitis of horses, Borna disease, and vaccinia. The heightening of virulence is revealed in various ways. The effects of the viruses may be accentuated; or a weak strain converted into a strong one, as in the case of the F. strain of herpes virus; or the power acquired to infect resistant species or tissues, as, e.g., rabbits and the abdominal skin of guinea pigs, with acute vesicular stomatitis. The Reynals factor should serve as an important agent in the study of filterable viruses.


    The central nervous system inflammatory response to neurotropic virus infection is peroxynitrite dependent.

    J Immunol 2001; 167 (6): 3470-7

    We have recently demonstrated that increased blood-CNS barrier permeability and CNS inflammation in a conventional mouse model of experimental allergic encephalomyelitis are dependent upon the production of peroxynitrite (ONOO(-)), a product of the free radicals NO and superoxide (O2(-)). To determine whether this is a reflection of the physiological contribution of ONOO(-) to an immune response against a neurotropic pathogen, we have assessed the effects on adult rats acutely infected with Borna disease virus (BDV) of administration of uric acid (UA), an inhibitor of select chemical reactions associated with ONOO(-). The pathogenesis of acute Borna disease in immunocompetent adult rats results from the immune response to the neurotropic BDV, rather than the direct effects of BDV infection of neurons. An important stage in the BDV-specific neuroimmune response is the invasion of inflammatory cells into the CNS. UA treatment inhibited the onset of clinical disease, and prevented the elevated blood-brain barrier permeability as well as CNS inflammation seen in control-treated BDV-infected rats. The replication and spread of BDV in the CNS were unchanged by the administration of UA, and only minimal effects on the immune response to BDV Ags were observed. These results indicate that the CNS inflammatory response to neurotropic virus infection is likely to be dependent upon the activity of ONOO(-) or its products on the blood-brain barrier.


    Astrocytes play a key role in activation of microglia by persistent Borna disease virus infection.

    J Neuroinflammation 2008; 5 (): 50

    Neonatal Borna disease virus (BDV) infection of the rat brain is associated with microglial activation and damage to certain neuronal populations. Since persistent BDV infection of neurons is nonlytic in vitro, activated microglia have been suggested to be responsible for neuronal cell death in vivo. However, the mechanisms of activation of microglia in neonatally BDV-infected rat brains remain unclear. Our previous studies have shown that activation of microglia by BDV in culture requires the presence of astrocytes as neither the virus nor BDV-infected neurons alone activate microglia. Here, we evaluated the mechanisms whereby astrocytes can contribute to activation of microglia in neuron-glia-microglia mixed cultures. We found that persistent infection of neuronal cells leads to activation of uninfected astrocytes as measured by elevated expression of RANTES. Activation of astrocytes then produces activation of microglia as evidenced by increased formation of round-shaped, MHCI-, MHCII- and IL-6-positive microglia cells. Our analysis of possible molecular mechanisms of activation of astrocytes and/or microglia in culture indicates that the mediators of activation may be soluble heat-resistant, low molecular weight factors. The findings indicate that astrocytes may mediate activation of microglia by BDV-infected neurons. The data are consistent with the hypothesis that microglia activation in the absence of neuronal damage may represent initial steps in the gradual neurodegeneration observed in brains of neonatally BDV-infected rats.


    Persistent Borna Disease Virus (BDV) infection activates microglia prior to a detectable loss of granule cells in the hippocampus.

    J Neuroinflammation 2008; 5 (): 16

    Neonatal Borna Disease Virus (BDV) infection in rats leads to a neuronal loss in the cortex, hippocampus and cerebellum. Since BDV is a non-lytic infection in vitro, it has been suggested that activated microglia could contribute to neuronal damage. It is also conceivable that BDV-induced cell death triggers activation of microglia to remove cell debris. Although an overall temporal association between neuronal loss and microgliosis has been demonstrated in BDV-infected rats, it remains unclear if microgliosis precedes or results from neuronal damage. We investigated the timing of microglia activation and neuronal elimination in the dentate gyrus (DG) of the hippocampus. We found a significant increase in the number of ED1+ microglia cells as early as 10 days post infection (dpi) while a detectable loss of granule cells of the DG was not seen until 30 dpi. The data demonstrate for the first time that a non-lytic persistent virus infection of neurons activates microglia long before any measurable neuronal loss.


    Neurotrophic factor expression after CNS viral injury produces enhanced sensitivity to psychostimulants: potential mechanism for addiction vulnerability.

    J Neurosci 2000; 20 (21): RC104

    Hypothesized risk factors for psychostimulant, amphetamine, and cocaine abuse include dopamine (DA) receptor polymorphisms, HIV infection, schizophrenia, drug-induced paranoias, and movement disorders; however, the molecular, cellular, and biochemical mechanisms that predispose to drug sensitivity or drive the development of addiction are incompletely understood. Using the Borna disease rat, an animal model of viral-induced encephalopathy wherein sensitivity to the locomotor and stereotypic behavioral effects of d-amphetamine and cocaine is enhanced (Solbrig et al., 1994, 1998), we identify a specific neurotrophin expression pattern triggered by striatal viral injury that increases tyrosine hydroxylase activity, an early step in DA synthesis, to produce a phenotype of enhanced amphetamine sensitivity. The reactive neurotrophin pattern provides a molecular framework for understanding how CNS viral injury, as well as other CNS adaptations producing similar growth factor activation profiles, may influence psychostimulant sensitivity.


    Sero-epidemiological analysis of vertical transmission relative risk of Borna disease virus infection in dairy herds.

    J Vet Med Sci 2016; 78 (11): 1669-1672

    Borna disease virus (BDV) is a virus that causes a neurological disease in domestic animals, including a variety of animal species in Japan. Few studies have examined the mode of transmission of this virus in cattle, and the exact mechanisms underlying the transmission of the virus need to be elucidated. This study aimed to examine the contribution of vertical transmission of the virus, which occurs when the virus is transmitted from the mother to offspring during gestation or birth. We used an epidemiological approach. The relative risk (RR) was calculated for cattle born to BDV sero-positive cows from farms with a higher within-herd prevalence of BDV (56.8%). We tested the sera of 1,122 dairy cattle from 24 dairy herds in Hokkaido Prefecture, Japan, for BDV infection using the ELISA and western blotting method. The overall level of BDV sero-prevalence was 22.1%. Seroprevalence was significantly higher in closed-breeding herds that do not have buying in cows (39.7%) than in farms that restock cattle by buying in cows (4.4%, P<0.01). The overall RR of BDV vertical transmission from infected mothers to their daughters was 1.86 (95% confidence interval (CI): 1.54-2.56). Our results show that vertical transmission contributes significantly to BDV transmission in the farms tested in this study.


    A study on Borna disease virus infection in domestic cats in Japan.

    J Vet Med Sci 2014; 76 (8): 1157-60

    Borna disease virus (BDV) infection causes neurological disease in cats. Here, we report BDV infection in 199 hospitalized domestic cats in the Tokyo area. BDV infection was evaluated by detection of plasma antibodies against BDV-p24 or -p40. BDV-specific antibodies were detected in 54 cats (27.1%). Interestingly, the percentage of seropositive cats was not significantly different among the three clinical groups, i.e., healthy (29.8%), neurologically asymptomatic disease (22.2%) and neurological disease (33.3%). The specific antibodies were present even in cats aged below one year. The seropositive ratio was constant, irrespective of age and sampling season. The present study suggests that additional factors are required for onset of Borna disease in naturally infected cats and that BDV is transmitted through vertical routes in cats.


    The influence of Borna disease viral infection on dairy cow reproduction.

    J Vet Med Sci 2012; 74 (4): 419-21

    We investigated the influence of Borna disease virus (BDV) infection on the clinical state of dairy cows. Sera from 149 cows were examined using enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay and western blotting detect antibodies to the BDV-nucleoprotein antigen. Among 149 investigated cows, 25 (16.8%) showed a positive reaction to BDV antigen. No significant difference existed in milk production or medical history between seropositive and seronegative cows. Although the estrus cycle appeared normal even in the seropositive cows, the frequency of artificial insemination and calving-to-conception intervals significantly increased in seropositive cows. Therefore, fertilization failure was recognized in the BDV-antibody positive cows.


    Analysis of intracellular distribution of Borna disease virus glycoprotein fused with fluorescent markers in living cells.

    J Vet Med Sci 2011; 73 (9): 1243-7

    Borna disease virus (BDV) is a non-segmented, negative-strand RNA virus that is characterized by nuclear replication and persistent infection. A unique feature of BDV is that it releases only a small number of infectious particles from infected cells. Although these characteristics might make it difficult to obtain a large amount of recombinant viruses in a reverse genetics system, the mechanism underlying the budding or assembly of BDV particle has remained largely unknown. In this study, as a first step toward understanding the virion formation of BDV, we investigated the intracellular distribution and mobility of the fluorescent marker fusion envelope glycoprotein (G) of BDV in living cells. Expression analysis revealed that fusion proteins seem to cleave into functional subunits and localize in the endoplasmic reticulum (ER)/Golgi apparatus, as well as the authentic BDV G. Furthermore, we demonstrated using fluorescence recovery after photobleaching analysis that BDV G fluorescence shows rapid recovery in both the ER/Golgi and plasma membrane regions, indicating that BDV G fusion protein may be a useful tool to investigate not only the maturation of BDV G but also the budding and assembly of BDV particles in living cells.


    Binding properties of GP1 protein of Borna disease virus.

    J Vet Med Sci 2009; 71 (2): 243-6

    The surface glycoprotein (G) of Borna disease virus (BDV) plays central roles in the process of viral entry. BDV G is cleaved by cellular furin-like proteases into two components, GP1 and GP2. Although GP1 is involved in the virus entry into cells, the binding activity of GP1 to cells is unknown. Therefore, we expressed the wild-type GP1 and a variety of GP1 deletion mutants that were FLAG-tagged at the C-terminus in human embryonic kidney 293T cells. These proteins were then purified using an anti-FLAG antibody and evaluated for their ability to bind to cell lines. GP1 bound to BDV-permissive cells but not to non-permissive cells. GP1 also inhibited BDV infection via its binding to cells. This binding assay should prove useful to map the receptor-binding domain of BDV.


    Borna disease virus in Raccoons (Procyon lotor) in Japan.

    J Vet Med Sci 2009; 71 (8): 1009-15

    We have examined the seroprevalence of BDV in wild Raccoons (Procyon lotor) in Hokkaido, Japan. Serum samples from raccoons were examined using ELISA and Western blot assays to detect the presence of serum antibodies that react specifically to BDV antigens. Among 549 investigated individuals, eleven (2.0%) showed a positive reaction to BDV antigens. Brain tissue samples from five individuals were subjected to RT-PCR, which detected BDV sequences in three of them. Sequence analysis revealed a high degree of genetic conservation between BDV sequences derived from raccoons and previously published sequences derived from other animal species.


    Prevalence of Borna disease virus antibodies in healthy Japanese black cattle in Kyushu.

    J Vet Med Sci 2006; 68 (2): 171-4

    Epidemiological studies have demonstrated that asymptomatic infection of Borna disease virus (BDV) is found in various species of animals in Japan. Recent reports have also revealed that neurological diseases caused by this virus could exist in horses, cattle, a dog, and cats in this country. In this study, we investigated seroprevalence of BDV antibodies in Japanese black cows reared in Kyushu, the southernmost main island of Japan, using ELISA and Western-immunoblotting. Of 101 serum samples, 11 (10.9%) and 21(20.7%) sera were identified as having antibodies to the BDV N and P antigens, respectively. Among the positive sera, three cows (2.9%) were seropositive for both of the antigens. Furthermore, interestingly, only female cows showed antibodies to P, whereas N antibodies were detected in male and female cows with a comparative ratio. Together with previous studies, our results indicate that BDV might be widely spread in cattle raised in Japan. Furthermore, this is the first report to show that beef cattle, Japanese black cattle, have antibodies against a possible zoonotic pathogen, BDV.


    Demonstration of continuously seropositive population against Borna disease virus in Misaki feral horses, a Japanese strain: a four-year follow-up study from 1998 to 2001.

    J Vet Med Sci 2002; 64 (5): 445-8

    Borna disease virus (BDV)-specific antibodies were monitored in Misaki feral horses annually for 4 years using an electrochemiluminescence immunoassay (ECLIA). Among 130 horses examined, 35 (26.9%) with an ECLIA count above 1000 once or more were judged as BDV seropositive. Throughout the study period, p24 antibodies were more frequent than p40 antibodies in almost all positive animals. Among the 35 seropositive horses, the ECLIA count was consistently high in 12 cases. Eleven horses seroconverted from negative to positive and 7 underwent reversal. The count in the remaining 95 horses (73.1%) remained low for 4 years and these animals were judged as seronegative.


    Prevalence of circulating antibodies to p10, a non-structural protein of the Borna disease virus in cats with ataxia.

    J Vet Med Sci 2001; 63 (12): 1279-85

    Japanese domestic cats were surveyed for circulating antibodies to the plO and p24 proteins of the Borna disease virus (BDV) by Western blotting. Twenty-four of 52 cats (46.2%) with ataxia and other neurologic symptoms of unknown cause were positive for antibodies to BDV p10 and/or p24. In contrast, cats without neurological symptoms gave a significantly lower prevalence of anti-BDV antibodies to p10 and/or p24 (36 of 152 cats, 23.7%). Thirty specific pathogen-free (SPF) cats tested as controls were uniformly negative to BDV pl0 and p24 antigens. These results suggest that BDV may play a role in ataxia in cats. Additionally, our results suggest that it is necessary to use both p10 and p24 as antigens to detect circulating antibodies to BDV in cats.


    Detection of anti-borna disease virus antibodies from cats in Asian countries, Japan, Philippines and Indonesia using electrochemiluminescence immunoassay.

    J Vet Med Sci 2001; 63 (8): 921-3

    Anti-Borna disease virus (BDV) antibodies were detected from cats in Japan, Philippines and Indonesia by using electrochemiluminescence immunoassay. Positive rates were 3.1%, 3.8% and 2.0% in Japan, Philippines and Indonesia, respectively. There was no differences in the positive rate of anti-BDV antibodies between male and female cats and among habitats. While, a significantly (P<0.05) higher prevalence (6.5%) was found in the oldest age group (more than 6 years) cats.


    Antibodies to Borna disease virus in infected adult rats: an early appearance of anti-p10 antibody and recognition of novel virus-specific proteins in infected animal brain cells.

    J Vet Med Sci 2000; 62 (7): 775-8

    The time course for appearance of antibodies to Borna disease virus (BDV) major antigens, p40, p24, p18 and p10 were investigated in BDV-inoculated adult rats by Western blotting. Anti-p10 antibodies were detected in sera as early as anti-p40 and -p24 antibodies at four or five weeks after inoculation. Furthermore, in addition to these major antigens of BDV, the rat serum could detect additional 80-, 58-, 43-, 20-, and 16-kDa proteins in BDV-infected cultured cells and/or animal brain cells by Western blot analysis. Of these proteins, the 20- and 16-kDa proteins were shown to be related to p24 protein by their reactivity with anti-p24 monoclonal antibody. Interestingly, the 58- and 24-kDa were found only in BDV-infected animal brain cells but not in cultured cells. The results in this study could provide a useful information on the mechanism for the viral replication and pathogenesis.


    Borna disease virus infection in domestic cats: evaluation by RNA and antibody detection.

    J Vet Med Sci 1999; 61 (10): 1167-70

    Borna disease virus (BDV) infection has been suggested to cause spontaneous neurological disease in cats referred to as staggering disease. However the evaluation of BDV infection in neurologically asymptomatic cats remained unclear. In the present study, BDV infected, asymptomatic cats in Tokyo were surveyed both by the presence of plasma antibodies against BDV-p24 and -p40 and by RNA detection in peripheral blood mononuclear cells. Seven of 32 domestic cats (21.9%) were serologically or genetically judged to be BDV-infected. Six cats were positive for anti-BDV antibody and two cats were positive for BDV RNA. Within the 2 RNA-positive cats, only one was positive for anti-BDV antibodies. Furthermore, the findings of anti-BDV-p40 and anti-BDV-p24 antibody-positive cats did not completely overlap. These results suggest that there are neurologically asymptomatic domestic cats infected with BDV present in the Tokyo area.


    Enhancement of Borna disease virus transcription in persistently infected cells by serum starvation.

    J Vet Med Sci 1999; 61 (7): 831-4

    Transcription of Borna disease virus (BDV) in persistently infected MDCK (MDCK/BDV) cells increased in the fetal bovine serum free media as detected by Northern blot analysis. Especially, the amount of 1.9-kb RNA without cap formation at the 5' end and polyadenylation at the 3' end, increased as compared to other mRNA molecules of BDV. Growth arrest of MDCK/BDV cells observed in the condition of serum starvation might be important for increasing viral transcription. Since N-cadherin is the responsible factor for cell-to-cell contact, MDCK/BDV cells were cultured in calcium free medium which inhibits the interaction of N-cadherin. However, inhibition of cell-to-cell contact by N-cadherin is not effective on up regulation of viral transcription. Our finding in this study indicates that enhancement of BDV transcription by serum starvation is a useful technique for further investigation in understanding of mechanisms of BDV transcription.


    Reverse transcription-nested polymerase chain reaction for detecting p40 RNA of Borna disease virus, without risk of plasmid contamination.

    J Vet Med Sci 1999; 61 (1): 77-80

    Several methods for the detection of Borna disease virus (BDV) RNA have been reported, one being the reverse transcription-nested polymerase chain reaction (RT-nested PCR) method. However, due to the possibility of contamination of the cloned DNA in a reaction tube, false-positive results might be obtained by RT-nested PCR. To detect only BDV RNA without anxiety of contamination, we developed an RT-nested PCR system using "mRNA selective PCR kit". Using this system, cDNA of BDV p40 in the plasmid (up to 5 x 10(7) molecules) was not amplified. BDV specific sequence was amplified from total RNA (more than 50 pg) of MDCK/BDV cells, which were persistently infected with BDV. These results indicate that this mRNA selective RT-nested PCR system can specifically amplify target RNA as distinguished from plasmid contaminated.


    A serosurvey of Borna disease virus infection in wild rats by a capture ELISA.

    J Vet Med Sci 1999; 61 (2): 113-7

    For a serological diagnostic test for Borna disease (BD), we developed a capture ELISA with specificity and sensitivity based on detection of antibodies against BD virus (BDV) p40 protein. Using our capture ELISA system, the antibody response of rats inoculated intracerebrally with BDV at 4 weeks after birth showed a sharp increase from 1 to 4 weeks postinoculation (p.i.) and a steady level after 5 weeks p.i. To investigate prevalence of BDV infection among wild rats, we examined sera of Rattus norvegicus in Kami-iso town, Oshima district, Hokkaido, suggesting that rats in this area had not been infected by BDV.


    Evaluation of serological diagnosis of Borna disease virus infection using recombinant proteins in experimentally infected rats.

    J Vet Med Sci 1998; 60 (4): 531-4

    We produced two recombinant Borna disease virus (BDV) proteins, p40 and p24, by using a baculovirus vector as a diagnostic antigen. Antigenicities of these recombinant proteins were evaluated by immune rabbit sera. Recombinant p40 was a more sensitive antigen than p24 for the detection of antibodies in infected rats. Rats inoculated with BDV within 24 hr after birth showed higher detection rates of viral RNA and viral proteins from the brain than rats inoculated at 4 weeks-old. Depending on the age of infection and the time postinfection, the detection of BDV RNA, protein, or anti-BDV antibody did not always correlate in individuals. We suggest both serological and molecular biological methods are needed in the diagnosis of BDV infection.


    Splicing-Dependent Subcellular Targeting of Borna Disease Virus Nucleoprotein Isoforms.

    J Virol 2019; 93 (5):;

    Targeting of viral proteins to specific subcellular compartments is a fundamental step for viruses to achieve successful replication in infected cells. Borna disease virus 1 (BoDV-1), a nonsegmented, negative-strand RNA virus, uniquely replicates and persists in the cell nucleus. Here, it is demonstrated that BoDV nucleoprotein (N) transcripts undergo mRNA splicing to generate truncated isoforms. In combination with alternative usage of translation initiation sites, the N gene potentially expresses at least six different isoforms, which exhibit diverse intracellular localizations, including the nucleoplasm, cytoplasm, and endoplasmic reticulum (ER), as well as intranuclear viral replication sites. Interestingly, the ER-targeting signal peptide in N is exposed by removing the intron by mRNA splicing. Furthermore, the spliced isoforms inhibit viral polymerase activity. Consistently, recombinant BoDVs lacking the N-splicing signals acquire the ability to replicate faster than wild-type virus in cultured cells, suggesting that N isoforms created by mRNA splicing negatively regulate BoDV replication. These results provided not only the mechanism of how mRNA splicing generates viral proteins that have distinct functions but also a novel strategy for replication control of RNA viruses using isoforms with different subcellular localizations.IMPORTANCE Borna disease virus (BoDV) is a highly neurotropic RNA virus that belongs to the orthobornavirus genus. A zoonotic orthobornavirus that is genetically related to BoDV has recently been identified in squirrels, thus increasing the importance of understanding the replication and pathogenesis of orthobornaviruses. BoDV replicates in the nucleus and uses alternative mRNA splicing to express viral proteins. However, it is unknown whether the virus uses splicing to create protein isoforms with different functions. The present study demonstrated that the nucleoprotein transcript undergoes splicing and produces four new isoforms in coordination with alternative usage of translation initiation codons. The spliced isoforms showed a distinct intracellular localization, including in the endoplasmic reticulum, and recombinant viruses lacking the splicing signals replicated more efficiently than the wild type. The results provided not only a new regulation of BoDV replication but also insights into how RNA viruses produce protein isoforms from small genomes.


    Central Nervous System Infection with Borna Disease Virus Causes Kynurenine Pathway Dysregulation and Neurotoxic Quinolinic Acid Production.

    J Virol 2017; 91 (14):;

    Central nervous system infection of neonatal and adult rats with Borna disease virus (BDV) results in neuronal destruction and behavioral abnormalities with differential immune-mediated involvement. Neuroactive metabolites generated from the kynurenine pathway of tryptophan degradation have been implicated in several human neurodegenerative disorders. Here, we report that brain expression of key enzymes in the kynurenine pathway are significantly, but differentially, altered in neonatal and adult rats with BDV infection. Gene expression analysis of rat brains following neonatal infection showed increased expression of kynurenine amino transferase II (KATII) and kynurenine-3-monooxygenase (KMO) enzymes. Additionally, indoleamine 2,3-dioxygenase (IDO) expression was only modestly increased in a brain region- and time-dependent manner in neonatally infected rats; however, its expression was highly increased in adult infected rats. The most dramatic impact on gene expression was seen for KMO, whose activity promotes the production of neurotoxic quinolinic acid. KMO expression was persistently elevated in brain regions of both newborn and adult BDV-infected rats, with increases reaching up to 86-fold. KMO protein levels were increased in neonatally infected rats and colocalized with neurons, the primary target cells of BDV infection. Furthermore, quinolinic acid was elevated in neonatally infected rat brains. We further demonstrate increased expression of KATII and KMO, but not IDO, in vitro in BDV-infected C6 astroglioma cells. Our results suggest that BDV directly impacts the kynurenine pathway, an effect that may be exacerbated by inflammatory responses in immunocompetent hosts. Thus, experimental models of BDV infection may provide new tools for discriminating virus-mediated from immune-mediated impacts on the kynurenine pathway and their relative contribution to neurodegeneration.IMPORTANCE BDV causes persistent, noncytopathic infection in vitro yet still elicits widespread neurodegeneration of infected neurons in both immunoincompetent and immunocompetent hosts. Here, we show that BDV infection induces expression of key enzymes of the kynurenine pathway in brains of newborn and adult infected rats and cultured astroglioma cells, shunting tryptophan degradation toward the production of neurotoxic quinolinic acid. Thus, our findings newly implicate this metabolic pathway in BDV-induced neurodegeneration. Given the importance of the kynurenine pathway in a wide range of human infections and neurodegenerative and neuropsychiatric disorders, animal models of BDV infection may serve as important tools for contrasting direct viral and indirect antiviral immune-mediated impacts on kynurenine pathway dysregulation and the ensuing neurodevelopmental and neuropathological consequences.


    Borna disease virus phosphoprotein modulates epigenetic signaling in neurons to control viral replication.

    J Virol 2015; 89 (11): 5996-6008

    UNLABELLED: Understanding the modalities of interaction of neurotropic viruses with their target cells represents a major challenge that may improve our knowledge of many human neurological disorders for which viral origin is suspected. Borna disease virus (BDV) represents an ideal model to analyze the molecular mechanisms of viral persistence in neurons and its consequences for neuronal homeostasis. It is now established that BDV ensures its long-term maintenance in infected cells through a stable interaction of viral components with the host cell chromatin, in particular, with core histones. This has led to our hypothesis that such an interaction may trigger epigenetic changes in the host cell. Here, we focused on histone acetylation, which plays key roles in epigenetic regulation of gene expression, notably for neurons. We performed a comparative analysis of histone acetylation patterns of neurons infected or not infected by BDV, which revealed that infection decreases histone acetylation on selected lysine residues. We showed that the BDV phosphoprotein (P) is responsible for these perturbations, even when it is expressed alone independently of the viral context, and that this action depends on its phosphorylation by protein kinase C. We also demonstrated that BDV P inhibits cellular histone acetyltransferase activities. Finally, by pharmacologically manipulating cellular acetylation levels, we observed that inhibiting cellular acetyl transferases reduces viral replication in cell culture. Our findings reveal that manipulation of cellular epigenetics by BDV could be a means to modulate viral replication and thus illustrate a fascinating example of virus-host cell interaction. IMPORTANCE: Persistent DNA viruses often subvert the mechanisms that regulate cellular chromatin dynamics, thereby benefitting from the resulting epigenetic changes to create a favorable milieu for their latent and persistent states. Here, we reasoned that Borna disease virus (BDV), the only RNA virus known to durably persist in the nucleus of infected cells, notably neurons, might employ a similar mechanism. In this study, we uncovered a novel modality of virus-cell interaction in which BDV phosphoprotein inhibits cellular histone acetylation by interfering with histone acetyltransferase activities. Manipulation of cellular histone acetylation is accompanied by a modulation of viral replication, revealing a perfect adaptation of this "ancient" virus to its host that may favor neuronal persistence and limit cellular damage.


    Analysis of borna disease virus trafficking in live infected cells by using a virus encoding a tetracysteine-tagged p protein.

    J Virol 2013; 87 (22): 12339-48

    Borna disease virus (BDV) is a nonsegmented, negative-stranded RNA virus characterized by noncytolytic persistent infection and replication in the nuclei of infected cells. To gain further insight on the intracellular trafficking of BDV components during infection, we sought to generate recombinant BDV (rBDV) encoding fluorescent fusion viral proteins. We successfully rescued a virus bearing a tetracysteine tag fused to BDV-P protein, which allowed assessment of the intracellular distribution and dynamics of BDV using real-time live imaging. In persistently infected cells, viral nuclear inclusions, representing viral factories tethered to chromatin, appeared to be extremely static and stable, contrasting with a very rapid and active trafficking of BDV components in the cytoplasm. Photobleaching (fluorescence recovery after photobleaching [FRAP] and fluorescence loss in photobleaching [FLIP]) imaging approaches revealed that BDV components were permanently and actively exchanged between cellular compartments, including within viral inclusions, albeit with a fraction of BDV-P protein not mobile in these structures, presumably due to its association with viral and/or cellular proteins. We also obtained evidence for transfer of viral material between persistently infected cells, with routing of the transferred components toward the cell nucleus. Finally, coculture experiments with noninfected cells allowed visualization of cell-to-cell BDV transmission and movement of the incoming viral material toward the nucleus. Our data demonstrate the potential of tetracysteine-tagged recombinant BDV for virus tracking during infection, which may provide novel information on the BDV life cycle and on the modalities of its interaction with the nuclear environment during viral persistence.


    Borna disease virus infects human neural progenitor cells and impairs neurogenesis.

    J Virol 2012; 86 (5): 2512-22

    Understanding the complex mechanisms by which infectious agents can disrupt behavior represents a major challenge. The Borna disease virus (BDV), a potential human pathogen, provides a unique model to study such mechanisms. Because BDV induces neurodegeneration in brain areas that are still undergoing maturation at the time of infection, we tested the hypothesis that BDV interferes with neurogenesis. We showed that human neural stem/progenitor cells are highly permissive to BDV, although infection does not alter their survival or undifferentiated phenotype. In contrast, upon the induction of differentiation, BDV is capable of severely impairing neurogenesis by interfering with the survival of newly generated neurons. Such impairment was specific to neurogenesis, since astrogliogenesis was unaltered. In conclusion, we demonstrate a new mechanism by which BDV might impair neural function and brain plasticity in infected individuals. These results may contribute to a better understanding of behavioral disorders associated with BDV infection.


    Detection and characterization of a distinct bornavirus lineage from healthy Canada geese (Branta canadensis).

    J Virol 2011; 85 (22): 12053-6

    Avian bornaviruses (ABV), identified in 2008, infect captive parrots and macaws worldwide. The natural reservoirs of these viruses are unknown. Reverse transcription-PCR (RT-PCR) was used to screen oropharyngeal/cloacal swab and brain samples from wild Canada geese (Branta canadensis) for ABV. Approximately 2.9% of swab samples were positive for bornavirus sequences. Fifty-two percent of brain samples from 2 urban flocks also tested positive, and brain isolates were cultured in duck embryo fibroblasts. Phylogenetic analyses placed goose isolates in an independent cluster, and more notably, important regulatory sequences present in Borna disease virus but lacking in psittacine ABVs were present in goose isolates.


    Upregulation of insulin-like growth factor binding protein 3 in astrocytes of transgenic mice that express Borna disease virus phosphoprotein.

    J Virol 2011; 85 (9): 4567-71

    In a previous study, we demonstrated that transgenic mice that express Borna disease virus (BDV) phosphoprotein (P) in astrocytes show striking neurobehavioral abnormalities resembling those in BDV-infected animals. To understand the molecular disturbances induced by the expression of P in astrocytes, we performed microarray analysis with cultured astroglial cells transiently expressing P. We showed that expression of insulin-like growth factor binding protein 3 mRNA increases not only in P-expressing cultured cells but also in astrocytes from the cerebella of P transgenic mice (P-Tg). Furthermore, we demonstrated that insulin-like growth factor signaling is disturbed in the P-Tg cerebellum, a factor that might be involved in the increased vulnerability of Purkinje cell neurons in the brain.


    A novel borna disease virus vector system that stably expresses foreign proteins from an intercistronic noncoding region.

    J Virol 2011; 85 (23): 12170-8

    Borna disease virus (BDV), a nonsegmented, negative-strand RNA virus, infects a wide variety of mammalian species and readily establishes a long-lasting, persistent infection in brain cells. Therefore, this virus could be a promising candidate as a novel RNA virus vector enabling stable gene expression in the central nervous system (CNS). Previous studies demonstrated that the 5' untranslated region of the genome is the only site for insertion and expression of a foreign gene. In this study, we established a novel BDV vector in which an additional transcription cassette has been inserted into an intercistronic noncoding region between the viral phosphoprotein (P) and matrix (M) genes. The recombinant BDV (rBDV) carrying green fluorescent protein (GFP) between the P and M genes, rBDV P/M-GFP, expressed GFP efficiently in cultured cells and rodent brains for a long period of time without attenuation. Furthermore, we generated a nonpropagating rBDV, DeltaGLLP/M, which lacks the envelope glycoprotein (G) and a splicing intron within the polymerase gene (L), by the transcomplementation system with either transient or stable expression of the G gene. Interestingly, rBDV DeltaGLLP/M established a persistent infection in cultured cells with stable expression of GFP in the absence of the expression of G. Using persistently infected rBDV DeltaGLLP/M-infected cells, we determined the amino acid region in the cytoplasmic tail (CT) of BDV G important for the release of infectious rBDV particles and also demonstrated that the CT region may be critical for the generation of pseudotyped rBDV having vesicular stomatitis virus G protein. Our results revealed that the newly established BDV vector constitutes an alternative tool not only for stable expression of foreign genes in the CNS but also for understanding the mechanism of the release of enveloped virions.


    Visualizing viral dissemination in the mouse nervous system, using a green fluorescent protein-expressing Borna disease virus vector.

    J Virol 2010; 84 (10): 5438-42

    Borna disease virus (BDV) frequently persists in the brain of infected animals. To analyze viral dissemination in the mouse nervous system, we generated a mouse-adapted virus that expresses green fluorescent protein (GFP). This viral vector supported GFP expression for up to 150 days and possessed an extraordinary staining capacity, visualizing complete dendritic arbors as well as individual axonal fibers of infected neurons. GFP-positive cells were first detected in cortical areas from where the virus disseminated through the entire central nervous system (CNS). Late in infection, GFP expression was found in the sciatic nerve, demonstrating viral spread from the central to the peripheral nervous system.


    Avian bornavirus associated with fatal disease in psittacine birds.

    J Virol 2010; 84 (13): 6269-75

    Thanks to new technologies which enable rapid and unbiased screening for viral nucleic acids in clinical specimens, an impressive number of previously unknown viruses have recently been discovered. Two research groups independently identified a novel negative-strand RNA virus, now designated avian bornavirus (ABV), in parrots with proventricular dilatation disease (PDD), a severe lymphoplasmacytic ganglioneuritis of the gastrointestinal tract of psittacine birds that is frequently accompanied by encephalomyelitis. Since its discovery, ABV has been detected worldwide in many captive parrots and in one canary with PDD. ABV induced a PDD-like disease in experimentally infected cockatiels, strongly suggesting that ABV is highly pathogenic in psittacine birds. Until the discovery of ABV, the Bornaviridae family consisted of a single species, classical Borna disease virus (BDV), which is the causative agent of a progressive neurological disorder that affects primarily horses, sheep, and some other farm animals in central Europe. Although ABV and BDV share many biological features, there exist several interesting differences, which are discussed in this review.


    Identification of host factors involved in borna disease virus cell entry through a small interfering RNA functional genetic screen.

    J Virol 2010; 84 (7): 3562-75

    Borna disease virus (BDV), the prototypic member of the Bornaviridae family, within the order Mononegavirales, is highly neurotropic and constitutes an important model system for the study of viral persistence in the central nervous system (CNS) and associated disorders. The virus surface glycoprotein (G) has been shown to direct BDV cell entry via receptor-mediated endocytosis, but the mechanisms governing cell tropism and propagation of BDV within the CNS are unknown. We developed a small interfering RNA (siRNA)-based screening to identify cellular genes and pathways that specifically contribute to BDV G-mediated cell entry. Our screen relied on silencing-mediated increased survival of cells infected with rVSVDeltaG/BDVG, a cytolytic recombinant vesicular stomatitis virus expressing BDV G that mimics the cell tropism and entry pathway of bona fide BDV. We identified 24 cellular genes involved in BDV G-mediated cell entry. Identified genes are known to participate in a broad range of distinct cellular functions, revealing a complex process associated with BDV cell entry. The siRNA-based screening strategy we have developed should be applicable to identify cellular genes contributing to cell entry mediated by surface G proteins of other viruses.


    Cell entry of Borna disease virus follows a clathrin-mediated endocytosis pathway that requires Rab5 and microtubules.

    J Virol 2009; 83 (20): 10406-16

    Borna disease virus (BDV), the prototypic member of the Bornaviridae family within the order Mononegavirales, exhibits high neurotropism and provides an important and unique experimental model system for studying virus-cell interactions within the central nervous system. BDV surface glycoprotein (G) plays a critical role in virus cell entry via receptor-mediated endocytosis, and therefore, G is a critical determinant of virus tissue and cell tropism. However, the specific cell pathways involved in BDV cell entry have not been determined. Here, we provide evidence that BDV uses a clathrin-mediated, caveola-independent cell entry pathway. We also show that BDV G-mediated fusion takes place at an optimal pH of 6.0 to 6.2, corresponding to an early-endosome compartment. Consistent with this finding, BDV cell entry was Rab5 dependent but Rab7 independent and exhibited rapid fusion kinetics. Our results also uncovered a key role for microtubules in BDV cell entry, whereas the integrity and dynamics of actin cytoskeleton were not required for efficient cell entry of BDV.


    Protein X of Borna disease virus inhibits apoptosis and promotes viral persistence in the central nervous systems of newborn-infected rats.

    J Virol 2009; 83 (9): 4297-307

    Borna disease virus (BDV) is a neurotropic member of the order Mononegavirales with noncytolytic replication and obligatory persistence in cultured cells and animals. Here we show that the accessory protein X of BDV represents the first mitochondrion-localized protein of an RNA virus that inhibits rather than promotes apoptosis induction. Rat C6 astroglioma cells persistently infected with wild-type BDV were significantly more resistant to death receptor-dependent and -independent apoptotic stimuli than uninfected cells or cells infected with a BDV mutant expressing reduced amounts of X. Confocal microscopy demonstrated that X colocalizes with mitochondria and expression of X from plasmid DNA rendered human 293T and mouse L929 cells resistant to apoptosis induction. A recombinant virus encoding a mutant X protein unable to associate with mitochondria (BDV-X(A6A7)) failed to block apoptosis in C6 cells. Furthermore, Lewis rats neonatally infected with BDV-X(A6A7) developed severe neurological symptoms and died around day 30 postinfection, whereas all animals infected with wild-type BDV remained healthy and became persistently infected. TUNEL (terminal deoxynucleotidyltransferase-mediated dUTP-biotin nick end labeling) staining revealed a significant increase in the number of apoptotic cells in the brain of BDV-X(A6A7)-infected animals, whereas the numbers of CD3(+) T lymphocytes were comparable to those detected in animals infected with wild-type BDV. Our data thus indicate that inhibition of apoptosis by X promotes noncytolytic viral persistence and is required for the survival of cells in the central nervous system of BDV-infected animals.


    Borna disease virus requires cholesterol in both cellular membrane and viral envelope for efficient cell entry.

    J Virol 2009; 83 (6): 2655-62

    Borna disease virus (BDV), the prototypic member of the family Bornaviridae within the order Mononegavirales, provides an important model for the investigation of viral persistence within the central nervous system (CNS) and of associated brain disorders. BDV is highly neurotropic and enters its target cell via receptor-mediated endocytosis, a process mediated by the virus surface glycoprotein (G), but the cellular factors and pathways determining BDV cell tropism within the CNS remain mostly unknown. Cholesterol has been shown to influence viral infections via its effects on different viral processes, including replication, budding, and cell entry. In this work, we show that cell entry, but not replication and gene expression, of BDV was drastically inhibited by depletion of cellular cholesterol levels. BDV G-mediated attachment to BDV-susceptible cells was cholesterol independent, but G localized to lipid rafts (LR) at the plasma membrane. LR structure and function critically depend on cholesterol, and hence, compromised structural integrity and function of LR caused by cholesterol depletion likely inhibited the initial stages of BDV cell internalization. Furthermore, we also show that viral-envelope cholesterol is required for BDV infectivity.


    Broad tissue and cell tropism of avian bornavirus in parrots with proventricular dilatation disease.

    J Virol 2009; 83 (11): 5401-7

    Avian bornaviruses (ABV), representing a new genus within the family Bornaviridae, were recently discovered in parrots from North America and Israel with proventricular dilatation disease (PDD). We show here that closely related viruses are also present in captive European parrots of various species with PDD. The six ABV strains that we identified in clinically diseased birds are new members of the previously defined ABV genotypes 2 and 4. Viruses of both genotypes readily established persistent, noncytolytic infections in quail and chicken cell lines but did not grow in cultured mammalian cells in which classical Borna disease virus strains replicate very efficiently. ABV antigens were present in both the cytoplasm and nucleus of infected cells, suggesting nuclear replication of ABV. The genome organization of avian and mammalian bornaviruses is highly conserved except that ABV lacks a distinct control element in the 5' noncoding region of the bicistronic mRNA encoding the viral proteins X and P. Reverse transcription-PCR analysis demonstrated the presence of virus in many, if not all, organs of birds with PDD. Viral nucleic acid was also found in feces of diseased birds, suggesting virus transmission by the fecal-oronasal route. Immunohistochemical analysis of organs from birds with PDD revealed that infection with ABV is not restricted to cells of the nervous system. Thus, ABV exhibits a broad tissue and cell tropism that is strikingly different from classical Borna disease virus.


    Molecular chaperone BiP interacts with Borna disease virus glycoprotein at the cell surface.

    J Virol 2009; 83 (23): 12622-5

    Borna disease virus (BDV) is characterized by highly neurotropic infection. BDV enters its target cells using virus surface glycoprotein (G), but the cellular molecules mediating this process remain to be elucidated. We demonstrate here that the N-terminal product of G, GP1, interacts with the 78-kDa chaperone protein BiP. BiP was found at the surface of BDV-permissive cells, and anti-BiP antibody reduced BDV infection as well as GP1 binding to the cell surface. We also reveal that BiP localizes at the synapse of neurons. These results indicate that BiP may participate in the cell surface association of BDV.


    Polymerase read-through at the first transcription termination site contributes to regulation of borna disease virus gene expression.

    J Virol 2008; 82 (19): 9537-45

    An unusually long noncoding sequence is located between the N gene of Borna disease virus (BDV) and the genes for regulatory factor X and polymerase cofactor P. Most of these nucleotides are transcribed and seem to control translation of the bicistronic X/P mRNA. We report here that Vero cells persistently infected with mutant viruses containing minor alterations in this control region showed almost normal levels of N, X, and P proteins but exhibited greatly reduced levels of mRNAs coding for these viral gene products. Surprisingly, cells infected with these BDV mutants accumulated a viral transcript 1.9 kb in length that represents a capped and polyadenylated mRNA containing the coding regions of the N, X, and P genes. Cells infected with wild-type BDV also contained substantial amounts of this read-through mRNA, which yielded both N and P protein when translated in vitro. Viruses carrying mutations that promoted read-through transcription at the first gene junction failed to replicate in the brain of adult rats. In the brains of newborn rats, these mutant viruses were able to replicate after acquiring second-site mutations in or near the termination signal located downstream of the N gene. Thus, sequence elements adjacent to the core termination signal seem to regulate the frequency by which the polymerase terminates transcription after the N gene. We conclude from these observations that BDV uses read-through transcription for fine-tuning the expression of the N, X, and P genes which, in turn, influence viral polymerase activity.


    Antiviral CD8 T cells recognize borna disease virus antigen transgenically expressed in either neurons or astrocytes.

    J Virol 2008; 82 (6): 3099-108

    Borna disease virus (BDV) can persistently infect the central nervous system (CNS) of mice. The infection remains nonsymptomatic as long as antiviral CD8 T cells do not infiltrate the infected brain. BDV mainly infects neurons which reportedly carry few, if any, major histocompatibility complex class I molecules on the surface. Therefore, it remains unclear whether T cells can recognize replicating virus in these cells or whether cross-presentation of viral antigen by other cell types is important for immune recognition of BDV. To distinguish between these possibilities, we used two lines of transgenic mice that strongly express the N protein of BDV in either neurons (Neuro-N) or astrocytes (Astro-N). Since these animals are tolerant to the neo-self-antigen, we adoptively transferred T cells with specificity for BDV N. In nontransgenic mice persistently infected with BDV, the transferred cells accumulated in the brain parenchyma along with immune cells of host origin and efficiently induced neurological disease. Neurological disease was also observed if antiviral T cells were injected into the brains of Astro-N or Neuro-N but not nontransgenic control mice. Our results demonstrate that CD8 T cells can recognize foreign antigen on neurons and astrocytes even in the absence of infection or inflammation, indicating that these CNS cell types are playing an active role in immune recognition of viruses.


    Hippocampal poly(ADP-Ribose) polymerase 1 and caspase 3 activation in neonatal bornavirus infection.

    J Virol 2008; 82 (4): 1748-58

    Infection of neonatal rats with Borna disease virus results in a characteristic behavioral syndrome and apoptosis of subsets of neurons in the hippocampus, cerebellum, and cortex (neonatal Borna disease [NBD]). In the NBD rat hippocampus, dentate gyrus granule cells progressively degenerate. Apoptotic loss of granule cells in NBD is associated with accumulation of zinc in degenerating neurons and reduced zinc in granule cell mossy fibers. Excess zinc can trigger poly(ADP-ribose) polymerase 1 (PARP-1) activation, and PARP-1 activation can mediate neuronal death. Here, we evaluate hippocampal PARP-1 mRNA and protein expression levels, activation, and cleavage, as well as apoptosis-inducing factor (AIF) nuclear translocation and executioner caspase 3 activation, in NBD rats. PARP-1 mRNA and protein levels were increased in NBD hippocampi. PARP-1 expression and activity were increased in granule cell neurons and glia with enhanced ribosylation of proteins, including PARP-1 itself. In contrast, levels of poly(ADP-ribose) glycohydrolase mRNA were decreased in NBD hippocampi. PARP-1 cleavage and AIF expression were also increased in astrocytes in NBD hippocampi. Levels of activated caspase 3 protein were increased in NBD hippocampi and localized to nuclei, mossy fibers, and dendrites of granule cell neurons. These results implicate aberrant zinc homeostasis, PARP-1, and caspase 3 activation as contributing factors in hippocampal neurodegeneration in NBD.


    Proteomic analysis reveals selective impediment of neuronal remodeling upon Borna disease virus infection.

    J Virol 2008; 82 (24): 12265-79

    The neurotropic virus Borna disease virus (BDV) persists in the central nervous systems of a wide variety of vertebrates and causes behavioral disorders. BDV represents an intriguing example of a virus whose persistence in neurons leads to altered brain function in the absence of overt cytolysis and inflammation. The bases of BDV-induced behavioral impairment remain largely unknown. To better characterize the neuronal response to BDV infection, we compared the proteomes of primary cultures of cortical neurons with and without BDV infection. We used two-dimensional liquid chromatography fractionation, followed by protein identification by nanoliquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry. This analysis revealed distinct changes in proteins implicated in neurotransmission, neurogenesis, cytoskeleton dynamics, and the regulation of gene expression and chromatin remodeling. We also demonstrated the selective interference of BDV with processes related to the adaptative response of neurons, i.e., defects in proteins regulating synaptic function, global rigidification of the cytoskeleton network, and altered expression of transcriptional and translational repressors. Thus, this work provides a global view of the neuronal changes induced by BDV infection together with new clues to understand the mechanisms underlying the selective interference with neuronal plasticity and remodeling that characterizes BDV persistence.


    Borna disease virus P protein affects neural transmission through interactions with gamma-aminobutyric acid receptor-associated protein.

    J Virol 2008; 82 (24): 12487-97

    Borna disease virus (BDV) is one of the infectious agents that causes diseases of the central nervous system in a wide range of vertebrate species and, perhaps, in humans. The phosphoprotein (P) of BDV, an essential cofactor of virus RNA-dependent RNA polymerase, is required for virus replication. In this study, we identified the gamma-aminobutyric acid receptor-associated protein (GABARAP) with functions in neurobiology as one of the viral P protein-interacting cellular factors by using an approach of phage display-based protein-protein interaction analysis. Direct binding between GABARAP and P protein was confirmed by coimmunoprecipitation, protein pull-down, and mammalian two-hybrid analyses. GABARAP originally was identified as a linker between the gamma-aminobutyric acid receptor (GABAR) and the microtubule to regulate receptor trafficking and plays important roles in the regulation of the inhibitory neural transmitter gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA). We showed that GABARAP colocalizes with P protein in the cells infected with BDV or transfected with the P gene, which resulted in shifting the localization of GABARAP from the cytosol to the nucleus. We further demonstrated that P protein blocks the trafficking of GABAR, a principal GABA-gated ion channel that plays important roles in neural transmission, to the surface of cells infected with BDV or transfected with the P gene. We proposed that during BDV infection, P protein binds to GABARAP, shifts the distribution of GABARAP from the cytoplasm to the nucleus, and disrupts the trafficking of GABARs to the cell membranes, which may result in the inhibition of GABA-induced currents and in the enhancement of hyperactivity and anxiety.


    Pathogenic potential of borna disease virus lacking the immunodominant CD8 T-cell epitope.

    J Virol 2007; 81 (20): 11187-94

    Borna disease virus (BDV) is a highly neurotropic, noncytolytic virus. Experimentally infected B10.BR mice remain healthy unless specific antiviral T cells that infiltrate the infected brain are triggered by immunization. In contrast, infected MRL mice spontaneously mount an antiviral T-cell response that can result in meningoencephalitis and neurological disease. The antiviral T cells may, alternatively, eliminate the virus without inducing disease if they are present in sufficient numbers before the virus replicates to high titers. Since the immune response of H-2(k) mice is directed mainly against the epitope TELEISSI located in the viral nucleoprotein N, we generated BDV mutants that feature TQLEISSI in place of TELEISSI. We show that adoptive transfer of BDV N-specific CD8 T cells induced neurological disease in B10.BR mice persistently infected with wild-type BDV but not with the mutant virus expressing TQLEISSI. Surprisingly, the mutant virus replicated less well in adult MRL wild-type mice than in mutant mice lacking mature CD8 T cells. Furthermore, when MRL mice were infected with the TQLEISSI-expressing BDV mutant as newborns, neurological disease was observed, although at a lower rate and with slower kinetics than in mice infected with wild-type virus. These results confirm that TELEISSI is the major CD8 T-cell epitope in H-2(k) mice and suggest that unidentified minor epitopes are present in the BDV proteome which are recognized rather efficiently by antiviral T cells if the dominant epitope is absent.


    Spatiotemporal analysis of purkinje cell degeneration relative to parasagittal expression domains in a model of neonatal viral infection.

    J Virol 2007; 81 (6): 2675-87

    Infection of newborn Lewis rats with Borna disease virus (neonatal Borna disease [NBD]) results in cerebellar damage without the cellular inflammation associated with infections in later life. Purkinje cell (PC) damage has been reported for several models of early-life viral infection, including NBD; however, the time course and distribution of PC pathology have not been investigated rigorously. This study examined the spatiotemporal relationship between PC death and zonal organization in NBD cerebella. Real-time PCR at postnatal day 28 (PND28) revealed decreased cerebellar levels of mRNAs encoding the glycolytic enzymes aldolase C (AldoC, also known as zebrin II) and phosphofructokinase C and the excitatory amino acid transporter 4 (EAAT4). Zebrin II and EAAT4 immunofluorescence analysis in PND21, PND28, PND42, and PND84 NBD rat cerebella revealed a complex pattern of PC degeneration. Early cell loss (PND28) was characterized by preferential apoptotic loss of zebrin II/EAAT4-negative PC subsets in the anterior vermis. Consistent with early preferential loss of zebrin II/EAAT4-negative PCs in the vermis, the densities of microglia and the Bergmann glial expression of metallothionein I/II and the hyaluronan receptor CD44 were higher in zebrin II/EAAT4-negative zones. In contrast, early loss in lateral cerebellar lobules did not reflect a similar discrimination between PC phenotypes. Patterns of vermal PC loss became more heterogeneous at PND42, with the loss of both zebrin II/EAAT4-negative and zebrin II/EAAT4-positive neurons. At PND84, zebrin II/EAAT4 patterning was abolished in the anterior cerebellum, with preferential PC survival in lobule X. Our investigation reveals regional discrimination between patterns of PC subset loss, defined by zebrin II/EAAT4 expression domains, following neonatal viral infection. These findings suggest a differential vulnerability of PC subsets during the early stages of virus-induced neurodegeneration.


    Functional characterization of the major and minor phosphorylation sites of the P protein of Borna disease virus.

    J Virol 2007; 81 (11): 5497-507

    The phosphoprotein P of Borna disease virus (BDV) is an essential cofactor of the viral RNA-dependent RNA polymerase. It is preferentially phosphorylated at serine residues 26 and 28 by protein kinase C epsilon (PKCepsilon) and, to a lesser extent, at serine residues 70 and 86 by casein kinase II (CKII). To determine whether P phosphorylation is required for viral polymerase activity, we generated P mutants lacking either the PKCepsilon or the CKII phosphate acceptor sites by replacing the corresponding serine residues with alanine (A). Alternatively, these sites were replaced by aspartic acid (D) to mimic phosphorylation. Functional characterization of the various mutants in the BDV minireplicon assay revealed that D substitutions at the CKII sites inhibited the polymerase-supporting activity of P, while A substitutions maintained wild-type activity. Likewise, D substitutions at the PKC sites did not impair the cofactor function of BDV-P, whereas A substitutions at these sites led to increased activity. Interestingly, recombinant viruses could be rescued only when P mutants with modified PKCepsilon sites were used but not when both CKII sites were altered. PKCepsilon mutant viruses showed a reduced capacity to spread in cell culture, while viral RNA and protein expression levels in persistently infected cells were almost normal. Further mutational analyses revealed that substitutions at individual CKII sites were, with the exception of a substitution of A for S86, detrimental for viral rescue. These data demonstrate that, in contrast to other viral P proteins, the cofactor activity of BDV-P is negatively regulated by phosphorylation.


    Generation and characterization of a recombinant vesicular stomatitis virus expressing the glycoprotein of Borna disease virus.

    J Virol 2007; 81 (11): 5527-36

    Borna disease virus (BDV) is an enveloped virus with a nonsegmented negative-strand RNA genome whose organization is characteristic of mononegavirales. However, based on its unique genetics and biological features, BDV is considered to be the prototypic member of a new virus family, Bornaviridae, within the order Mononegavirales. BDV cell entry occurs via receptor-mediated endocytosis, a process initiated by the recognition of an as yet unidentified receptor at the cell surface by the BDV surface glycoprotein (G). The paucity of cell-free virus associated with BDV infection has hindered studies aimed at the elucidation of cellular receptors and detailed mechanisms involved in BDV cell entry. To overcome this problem, we generated and characterized a replication-competent recombinant vesicular stomatitis virus expressing BDV G (rVSVDeltaG/BDVG). Cells infected with rVSVDeltaG/BDVG produced high titers (10(7) PFU/ml) of cell-free virus progeny, but this virus exhibited a highly attenuated phenotype both in cell culture and in vivo. Attenuation of rVSVDeltaG/BDVG was associated with a delayed kinetics of viral RNA replication and altered genome/N mRNA ratios compared to results for rVSVDeltaG/VSVG. Likewise, incorporation of BDV G into virions appeared to be restricted despite its high levels of expression and efficient processing in rVSVDeltaG/BDVG-infected cells. Notably, rVSVDeltaG/BDVG recreated the cell tropism and entry pathway of bona fide BDV. Our results indicate that rVSVDeltaG/BDVG represents a unique tool for the investigation of BDV G-mediated cell entry, as well as the roles of BDV G in host immune responses and pathogenesis associated with BDV infection.


    Cell-to-cell spread of Borna disease virus proceeds in the absence of the virus primary receptor and furin-mediated processing of the virus surface glycoprotein.

    J Virol 2007; 81 (11): 5968-77

    Borna disease virus (BDV) is an enveloped virus with a nonsegmented negative-strand RNA genome whose organization is characteristic of Mononegavirales. BDV cell entry follows a receptor-mediated endocytosis pathway, which is initiated by the recognition of an as-yet-unidentified receptor at the cell surface by the virus glycoprotein G. BDV G is synthesized as a precursor (GPC) that is cleaved by the cellular protease furin to produce the mature glycoproteins GP1 and GP2, which have been implicated in receptor recognition and pH-dependent fusion events, respectively. BDV is highly neurotropic and its spread in cultured cells proceeds in the absence of detectable extracellular virus or syncytium formation. BDV spread has been proposed to be strictly dependent on the expression and correct processing of BDV G. Here we present evidence that cell-to-cell spread of BDV required neither the expression of cellular receptors involved in virus primary infection, nor the furin-mediated processing of BDV G. We also show that in furin-deficient cells, the release of BDV particles induced by the treatment of BDV-infected cells with hypertonic buffer was not significantly affected, while virion infectivity was dramatically impaired, correlating with the decreased incorporation of BDV G species into viral particles. These findings support the view that the propagation of BDV within the central nervous systems of infected hosts involves both a primary infection that follows a receptor-mediated endocytosis pathway and a subsequent cell-to-cell spread that is independent of the expression of the primary receptor and does not require the processing of BDV G into GP1 and GP2.


    Downregulation of an astrocyte-derived inflammatory protein, S100B, reduces vascular inflammatory responses in brains persistently infected with Borna disease virus.

    J Virol 2007; 81 (11): 5940-8

    Borna disease virus (BDV) is a neurotropic virus that causes a persistent infection in the central nervous system (CNS) of many vertebrate species. Although a severe reactive gliosis is observed in experimentally BDV-infected rat brains, little is known about the glial reactions contributing to the viral persistence and immune modulation in the CNS. In this regard, we examined the expression of an astrocyte-derived factor, S100B, in the brains of Lewis rats persistently infected with BDV. S100B is a Ca(2+)-binding protein produced mainly by astrocytes. A prominent role of this protein appears to be the promotion of vascular inflammatory responses through interaction with the receptor for advanced glycation end products (RAGE). Here we show that the expression of S100B is significantly reduced in BDV-infected brains despite severe astrocytosis with increased glial fibrillary acidic protein immunoreactivity. Interestingly, no upregulation of the expression of S100B, or RAGE, was observed in the persistently infected brains even when incited with several inflammatory stimuli, including lipopolysaccharide. In addition, expression of the vascular cell adhesion molecule 1 (VCAM-1), as well as the infiltration of encephalitogenic T cells, was significantly reduced in persistently infected brains in which an experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis was induced by immunization with myelin-basic protein. Furthermore, we demonstrated that the continuous activation of S100B in the brain may be necessary for the progression of vascular immune responses in neonatally infected rat brains. Our results suggested that BDV infection may impair astrocyte functions via a downregulation of S100B expression, leading to the maintenance of a persistent infection.


    A Borna disease virus vector for expression of foreign genes in neurons of rodents.

    J Virol 2007; 81 (13): 7293-6

    An expression cassette for green fluorescent protein was successfully inserted at a site near the 5' end of the genome of Borna disease virus (BDV). When introduced into a mutant virus with highly active polymerase, the foreign gene was strongly expressed in neurons of infected rats. Since BDV can establish long-term persistence in the central nervous system of rodents, it may be used to engineer efficient vectors for specific delivery of foreign genes into highly differentiated neurons.


    The X protein of borna disease virus serves essential functions in the viral multiplication cycle.

    J Virol 2007; 81 (13): 7297-9

    The X gene of Borna disease virus (BDV) encodes a nonstructural 10-kDa protein that can interact with viral polymerase cofactor P, thus regulating polymerase activity. It remained unknown whether X is essential for virus multiplication. All our attempts to generate mutant BDV with a nonfunctional X gene proved unsuccessful. However, a mutant virus with an inactive X gene was able to replicate in Vero cells if an artificial gene cassette encoding X was inserted at a site near the 5' end of the viral genome. These results indicate that X performs essential viral functions.


    Borna disease virus matrix protein is an integral component of the viral ribonucleoprotein complex that does not interfere with polymerase activity.

    J Virol 2007; 81 (2): 743-9

    We have recently shown that the matrix protein M of Borna disease virus (BDV) copurifies with the affinity-purified nucleoprotein (N) from BDV-infected cells, suggesting that M is an integral component of the viral ribonucleoprotein complex (RNP). However, further studies were hampered by the lack of appropriate tools. Here we generated an M-specific rabbit polyclonal antiserum to investigate the intracellular distribution of M as well as its colocalization with other viral proteins in BDV-infected cells. Immunofluorescence analysis revealed that M is located both in the cytoplasm and in nuclear punctate structures typical for BDV infection. Colocalization studies indicated an association of M with nucleocapsid proteins in these nuclear punctate structures. In situ hybridization analysis revealed that M also colocalizes with the viral genome, implying that M associates directly with viral RNPs. Biochemical studies demonstrated that M binds specifically to the phosphoprotein P but not to N. Binding of M to P involves the N terminus of P and is independent of the ability of P to oligomerize. Surprisingly, despite P-M complex formation, BDV polymerase activity was not inhibited but rather slightly elevated by M, as revealed in a minireplicon assay. Thus, unlike M proteins of other negative-strand RNA viruses, BDV-M seems to be an integral component of the RNPs without interfering with the viral polymerase activity. We propose that this unique feature of BDV-M is a prerequisite for the establishment of BDV persistence.


    Borna disease virus infection impairs synaptic plasticity.

    J Virol 2007; 81 (16): 8833-7

    The mechanisms whereby Borna disease virus (BDV) can impair neuronal function and lead to neurobehavioral disease are not well understood. To analyze the electrophysiological properties of neurons infected with BDV, we used cultures of neurons grown on multielectrode arrays, allowing a real-time monitoring of the electrical activity across the network shaped by synaptic transmission. Although infection did not affect spontaneous neuronal activity, it selectively blocked activity-dependent enhancement of neuronal network activity, one form of synaptic plasticity thought to be important for learning and memory. These findings highlight the original mechanism of the neuronal dysfunction caused by noncytolytic infection with BDV.


    Adaptation of Borna disease virus to new host species attributed to altered regulation of viral polymerase activity.

    J Virol 2007; 81 (15): 7933-40

    Borna disease virus (BDV) can persistently infect the central nervous system of a broad range of mammalian species. Mice are resistant to infections with primary BDV isolates, but certain laboratory strains can be adapted to replicate in mice. We determined the molecular basis of adaptation by studying mutations acquired by a cDNA-derived BDV strain during one brain passage in rats and three passages in mice. The adapted virus propagated efficiently in mouse brains and induced neurological disease. Its genome contained seven point mutations, three of which caused amino acid changes in the L polymerase (L1116R and N1398D) and in the polymerase cofactor P (R66K). Recombinant BDV carrying these mutations either alone or in combination all showed enhanced multiplication speed in Vero cells, indicating improved intrinsic viral polymerase activity rather than adaptation to a mouse-specific factor. Mutations R66K and L1116R, but not N1398D, conferred replication competence of recombinant BDV in mice if introduced individually. Virus propagation in mouse brains was substantially enhanced if both L mutations were present simultaneously, but infection remained mostly nonsymptomatic. Only if all three amino acid substitutions were combined did BDV replicate vigorously and induce early disease in mice. Interestingly, the virulence-enhancing effect of the R66K mutation in P could be attributed to reduced negative regulation of polymerase activity by the viral X protein. Our data demonstrate that BDV replication competence in mice is mediated by the polymerase complex rather than the viral envelope and suggest that altered regulation of viral gene expression can favor adaptation to new host species.


    Endoplasmic reticulum stress and neurodegeneration in rats neonatally infected with borna disease virus.

    J Virol 2006; 80 (17): 8613-26

    Borna disease virus infection of neonatal rats results in a characteristic behavioral syndrome and apoptosis of subsets of neurons in the hippocampus and cerebellum (neonatal Borna disease [NBD]). The cellular mechanisms leading to neurodevelopmental damage in NBD have not been fully elucidated. Insights into this model may have general implications for understanding the pathogenesis of virus-associated neurodevelopmental damage. Here we report the presence of endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress markers and activation of the unfolded protein response in the NBD hippocampus and cerebellum. Specific findings included enhanced PERK-mediated phosphorylation of eif2alpha and concomitant regulation of ATF4 translation; IRE1-mediated splicing of XBP1 mRNA; and cleavage of the ATF6 protein in NBD rat brains. We found evidence for regional and cell type-specific divergence in the expression of ER stress-induced proapoptotic and quality control signals. Our results demonstrate that ER stress induction in death-susceptible Purkinje neurons in NBD is associated with the expression of the proapoptotic molecule CHOP in the absence of compensatory expression of the ER quality control molecules Bip and protein disulfide isomerase. In contrast, ER stress in death-resistant astrocytes is associated with complementary expression of CHOP and ER quality control signals. These results implicate an imbalance between ER stress-mediated apoptosis and survival signaling as a critical determinant of neural cell fate in NBD.


    RNA polymerase II-controlled expression of antigenomic RNA enhances the rescue efficacies of two different members of the Mononegavirales independently of the site of viral genome replication.

    J Virol 2006; 80 (12): 5708-15

    De novo generation of negative-strand RNA viruses depends on the efficient expression of antigenomic RNA (cRNA) from cDNA. To improve the rescue system of Borna disease virus (BDV), a member of the Mononegavirales with a nuclear replication phase, we evaluated different RNA polymerase (Pol) promoters for viral cRNA expression. Human and mouse Pol I promoters did not increase the recovery rate of infectious BDV from cDNA compared to the originally employed T7 RNA polymerase system. In contrast, expression of viral cRNA under the control of an RNA Pol II promoter increased the rescue efficacy by nearly 20-fold. Similarly, rescue of measles virus (MV), a member of the Mononegavirales with a cytoplasmic replication phase, was strongly improved by Pol II-controlled expression of viral cRNA. Analysis of transcription levels derived from different promoters suggested that the rescue-enhancing function of the Pol II promoter was due mainly to enhanced cRNA synthesis from the plasmid. Remarkably, correct 5'-terminal processing of Pol II-transcribed cRNA by a hammerhead ribozyme was not necessary for efficient rescue of BDV or MV. The correct 5' termini were reconstituted during replication of the artificially prolonged cRNA, indicating that the BDV and MV replicase complexes are able to recognize internal viral replication signals.


    A methionine-rich domain mediates CRM1-dependent nuclear export activity of Borna disease virus phosphoprotein.

    J Virol 2006; 80 (3): 1121-9

    Borna disease virus (BDV) is a nonsegmented, negative-strand RNA virus that replicates and transcribes in the nucleus of infected cells. Recently, we have demonstrated that BDV phosphoprotein (P) can modulate its subcellular localization through binding to the protein X, which is encoded in the overlapping open reading frame (T. Kobayashi et al., J. Virol. 77:8099-8107, 2003). This observation suggested a unique strategy of intracellular trafficking of a viral protein that is essential for the formation of a functional BDV ribonucleoprotein (RNP). However, neither the mechanism nor the consequences of the cytoplasmic retention or nuclear export of BDV X-P complex have been elucidated. In this study, we show that BDV P contains a bona fide nuclear export signal (NES) and can actively shuttle between the nucleus and cytoplasm. A transient transfection analysis of cDNA clones that mimic the BDV bicistronic X/P mRNA revealed that the methionine-rich (MetR) domain of P is responsible for the X-dependent cytoplasmic localization of the protein complex. Mutational and functional analysis revealed that the methionine residues within the MetR domain are critical for the activity of the NES of P. Furthermore, leptomycin B or small interfering RNA for inhibition of CRM1 strongly suggested that a CRM1-dependent pathway mediates nuclear export of P. Fluorescence loss in photobleaching analysis confirmed the nucleocytoplasmic shuttling of P. Moreover, we revealed that the nuclear export of P is not involved in the inhibition of the polymerase activity by X in the BDV minireplicon system. Our results may provide a unique strategy for the nucleocytoplasmic transport of viral RNP, which could be critical for the formation of not only infectious virions in the cytoplasm but also a persistent viral state in the nucleus.


    Activation of microglia by borna disease virus infection: in vitro study.

    J Virol 2006; 80 (24): 12141-8

    Neonatal Borna disease virus (BDV) infection of the rat brain is associated with microglial activation and damage to the certain neuronal populations. Since persistent BDV infection of neurons in vitro is noncytolytic and noncytopathic, activated microglia have been suggested to be responsible for neuronal cell death in vivo. However, the mechanisms of activation of microglia in neonatally BDV-infected rat brain have not been investigated. To address these issues, activation of primary rat microglial cells was studied following exposure to purified BDV or to persistently BDV-infected primary cortical neurons or after BDV infection of primary mixed neuron-glial cultures. Neither purified virus nor BDV-infected neurons alone activated primary microglia as assessed by the changes in cell shape or production of the proinflammatory cytokines. In contrast, in the BDV-infected primary mixed cultures, we observed proliferation of microglia cells that acquired the round morphology and expressed major histocompatibility complex molecules of classes I and II. These manifestations of microglia activation were observed in the absence of direct BDV infection of microglia or overt neuronal toxicity. In addition, compared to uninfected mixed cultures, activation of microglia in BDV-infected mixed cultures was associated with a significantly greater lipopolysaccharide-induced release of tumor necrosis factor alpha, interleukin 1beta, and interleukin 10. Taken together, the present data are the first in vitro evidence that persistent BDV infection of neurons and astrocytes rather than direct exposure to the virus or dying neurons is critical for activating microglia.


    Borna disease virus replication in organotypic hippocampal slice cultures from rats results in selective damage of dentate granule cells.

    J Virol 2005; 79 (18): 11716-23

    In the hippocampus of Borna disease virus (BDV)-infected newborn rats, dentate granule cells undergo progressive cell death. BDV is noncytolytic, and the pathogenesis of this neurodevelopmental damage in the absence of immunopathology remains unclear. A suitable model system to study early events of the pathology is lacking. We show here that organotypic hippocampal slice cultures from newborn rat pups are a suitable ex vivo model to examine BDV neuropathogenesis. After challenging hippocampal slice cultures with BDV, we observed a progressive loss of calbindin-positive granule cells 21 to 28 days postinfection. This loss was accompanied by reduced numbers of mossy fiber boutons when compared to mock-infected cultures. Similarly, the density of dentate granule cell axons, the mossy fiber axons, appeared to be substantially reduced. In contrast, hilar mossy cells and pyramidal neurons survived, although BDV was detectable in these cells. Despite infection of dentate granule cells 2 weeks postinfection, the axonal projections of these cells and the synaptic connectivity patterns were comparable to those in mock-infected cultures, suggesting that BDV-induced damage of granule cells is a post-maturation event that starts after mossy fiber synapses are formed. In summary, we find that BDV infection of rat organotypic hippocampal slice cultures results in selective neuronal damage similar to that observed with infected newborn rats and is therefore a suitable model to study BDV-induced pathology in the hippocampus.


    CD8 T cells require gamma interferon to clear borna disease virus from the brain and prevent immune system-mediated neuronal damage.

    J Virol 2005; 79 (21): 13509-18

    Borna disease virus (BDV) frequently causes meningoencephalitis and fatal neurological disease in young but not old mice of strain MRL. Disease does not result from the virus-induced destruction of infected neurons. Rather, it is mediated by H-2(k)-restricted antiviral CD8 T cells that recognize a peptide derived from the BDV nucleoprotein N. Persistent BDV infection in mice is not spontaneously cleared. We report here that N-specific vaccination can protect wild-type MRL mice but not mutant MRL mice lacking gamma interferon (IFN-gamma) from persistent infection with BDV. Furthermore, we observed a significant degree of resistance of old MRL mice to persistent BDV infection that depended on the presence of CD8 T cells. We found that virus initially infected hippocampal neurons around 2 weeks after intracerebral infection but was eventually cleared in most wild-type MRL mice. Unexpectedly, young as well as old IFN-gamma-deficient MRL mice were completely susceptible to infection with BDV. Moreover, neurons in the CA1 region of the hippocampus were severely damaged in most diseased IFN-gamma-deficient mice but not in wild-type mice. Furthermore, large numbers of eosinophils were present in the inflamed brains of IFN-gamma-deficient mice but not in those of wild-type mice, presumably because of increased intracerebral synthesis of interleukin-13 and the chemokines CCL1 and CCL11, which can attract eosinophils. These results demonstrate that IFN-gamma plays a central role in host resistance against infection of the central nervous system with BDV and in clearance of BDV from neurons. They further indicate that IFN-gamma may function as a neuroprotective factor that can limit the loss of neurons in the course of antiviral immune responses in the brain.


    Functional characterization of the genomic promoter of borna disease virus (BDV): implications of 3'-terminal sequence heterogeneity for BDV persistence.

    J Virol 2005; 79 (10): 6544-50

    Borna disease virus (BDV) is an enveloped virus with a genome organization characteristic of Mononegavirales. However, based on its unique features, BDV is considered the prototypic member of a new virus family, Bornaviridae, within the order Mononegavirales. We have described the establishment of a reverse genetics system for the rescue of BDV RNA analogues, or minigenomes, that is based on the use of polymerase I/polymerase II. Using this BDV minigenome rescue system, we have examined the functional implications of the reported sequence heterogeneity found at the 5' and 3' termini of the BDV genome and also defined the minimal BDV genomic promoter within the 3'-terminal 25 nucleotides. Our results suggest that the accumulation of RNA genome species containing truncations of one to three nucleotides at their 3' termini may contribute to modulate BDV RNA replication and gene expression during long-term persistence.


    Constitutive activation of the transcription factor NF-kappaB results in impaired borna disease virus replication.

    J Virol 2005; 79 (10): 6043-51

    The inducible transcription factor NF-kappaB is commonly activated upon RNA virus infection and is a key player in the induction and regulation of the innate immune response. Borna disease virus (BDV) is a neurotropic negative-strand RNA virus, which replicates in the nucleus of the infected cell and causes a persistent infection that can lead to severe neurological disorders. To investigate the activation and function of NF-kappaB in BDV-infected cells, we stably transfected the highly susceptible neuronal guinea pig cell line CRL with a constitutively active (IKK EE) or dominant-negative (IKK KD) regulator of the IKK/NF-kappaB signaling pathway. While BDV titers were not affected in cells with impaired NF-kappaB signaling, the expression of an activated mutant of IkappaB kinase (IKK) resulted in a strong reduction in the intracellular viral titer in CRL cells. Electrophoretic mobility shift assays and luciferase reporter gene assays revealed that neither NF-kappaB nor interferon regulatory factors (IRFs) were activated upon acute BDV infection of wild-type or vector-transfected CRL cells. However, when IKK EE-transfected cells were used as target cells for BDV infection, DNA binding to an IRF3/7-responsive DNA element was detectable. Since IRF3/7 is a key player in the antiviral interferon response, our data indicate that enhanced NF-kappaB activity in the presence of BDV leads to the induction of antiviral pathways resulting in reduced virus titers. Consistent with this observation, the anti-BDV activity of NF-kappaB preferentially spread to areas of the brains of infected rats where activated NF-kappaB was not detectable.


    Prevention of virus persistence and protection against immunopathology after Borna disease virus infection of the brain by a novel Orf virus recombinant.

    J Virol 2005; 79 (1): 314-25

    The Parapoxvirus Orf virus represents a promising candidate for novel vector vaccines due to its immune modulating properties even in nonpermissive hosts such as mouse or rat. The highly attenuated Orf virus strain D1701 was used to generate a recombinant virus (D1701-VrVp40) expressing nucleoprotein p40 of Borna disease virus, which represents a major antigen for the induction of a Borna disease virus-specific humoral and cellular immune response. Infection with Borna disease virus leads to distinct neurological symptoms mediated by the invasion of activated specific CD8+ T cells into the infected brain. Usually, Borna disease virus is not cleared from the brain but rather persists in neural cells. In the present study we show for the first time that intramuscular application of the D1701-VrVp40 recombinant protected rats against Borna disease, and importantly, virus clearance from the infected brain was demonstrated in immunized animals. Even 4 and 8 months after the last immunization, all immunized animals were still protected against the disease. Initial characterization of the immune cells attracted to the infected brain areas suggested that D1701-VrVp40 mediated induction of B cells and antibody-producing plasma cells as well as T cells. These findings suggest the induction of various defense mechanisms against Borna disease virus. First studies on the role of antiviral cytokines indicated that D1701-VrVp40 immunization did not lead to an enhanced early response of gamma or alpha interferon or tumor necrosis factor alpha. Collectively, this study describes the potential of the Orf virus vector system in mediating long-lasting, protective antiviral immunity and eliminating this persistent virus infection without provoking massive neuronal damage.


    Persistent borna disease virus infection confers instability of HSP70 mRNA in glial cells during heat stress.

    J Virol 2005; 79 (4): 2033-41

    Borna disease virus (BDV) is a highly neurotropic RNA virus that causes neurological disorders in many vertebrate species. Although BDV readily establishes lasting persistence, persistently infected cells maintain an apparently normal cell phenotype in terms of morphology, viability, and proliferation. In this study, to understand the regulation of stress responses in BDV infection, we investigated the expression of heat shock proteins (HSPs) in glial cells persistently infected with BDV. Interestingly, we found that BDV persistence did not upregulate HSP70 expression even in cells treated with heat stress. Furthermore, BDV-infected glial cells exhibited rapid rounding and detachment from the culture plate under various stressful conditions. Immunofluorescence analysis demonstrated that heat stress rapidly disrupts the cell cytoskeleton only in persistently infected cells, suggesting a lack of thermotolerance. Intriguingly, we found that although persistently infected glial cells expressed HSP70 mRNA after heat stress, its expression rapidly disappeared during the recovery period. These observations indicated that persistent BDV infection may affect the stability of HSP70 mRNA. Finally, we found that the double-stranded RNA-dependent protein kinase (PKR) is expressed at a constant level in persistently infected cells with or without heat shock. Considering the interrelationship between HSP70 and PKR production, our data suggest that BDV infection disturbs the cellular stress responses to abolish antiviral activities and maintain persistence.


    Mechanism of the antiviral action of 1-beta-D-arabinofuranosylcytosine on Borna disease virus.

    J Virol 2005; 79 (7): 4514-8

    Borna disease virus (BDV) is a nonsegmented, negative-stranded RNA virus that causes neurological diseases in a variety of warm-blooded animal species. Recently, we showed that the nucleoside analog 1-beta-D-arabinofuranosylcytosine (Ara-C) was a potent inhibitor of BDV. This finding was surprising for an RNA virus, since Ara-C is a DNA polymerase inhibitor. Thus, we sought to better define the mechanism of action of Ara-C on BDV. Here, we show that (i) this effect is specific for an arabinoside ring carrying a cytosine base, (ii) it requires phosphorylation of the nucleotide, and (iii) it can be reversed by an excess of cytidine. Using the recently described minigenome assay for BDV, we provide evidence suggesting that Ara-C may act as a competitive inhibitor of the BDV replication complex.


    Borna disease virus multiplication in mouse organotypic slice cultures is site-specifically inhibited by gamma interferon but not by interleukin-12.

    J Virol 2004; 78 (3): 1212-8

    Borna disease virus (BDV) induces a nonpurulent CD4- and CD8-T-cell-dependent meningoencephalitis in susceptible animals. Upon intracerebral infection, BDV replicates in the mouse central nervous system (CNS), but only a few mouse strains develop neurological disorder. The antiviral T cells appear to suppress BDV replication by a noncytolytic mechanism. Since BDV does not replicate in standard mouse cell cultures, the putative role of gamma interferon (IFN-gamma) in virus control could not be tested experimentally. Here, we report that mouse organotypic slice cultures can be used to elucidate the complex interactions of BDV, the CNS, and the immune system. We show that BDV replicated in various cell types of mouse cerebellar slice cultures in vitro. In infected slice cultures, a moderate upregulation of the chemokine genes CCL5 and CXCL10 was observed, while expression of various neural genes as well as other chemokine and cytokine genes was not altered. IFN-gamma inhibited the multiplication of BDV in cerebellar and hippocampal slice cultures in a dose-dependent manner. However, while complete suppression of BDV was observed in cerebellar slice cultures, inhibition was incomplete in hippocampal slice cultures. Kinetic studies indicated that IFN-gamma protects noninfected cells from infection rather than clearing the virus from infected cells. These results demonstrate that BDV can replicate in cultured neural cells of the mouse if organ integrity is well preserved. They further show that IFN-gamma is a powerful inhibitor of BDV in the absence of blood-borne leukocytes in mouse cerebellar slice cultures.


    Transgenic mice expressing the nucleoprotein of Borna disease virus in either neurons or astrocytes: decreased susceptibility to homotypic infection and disease.

    J Virol 2004; 78 (7): 3621-32

    The nucleoprotein (N) of Borna disease virus (BDV) is the major target of the disease-inducing antiviral CD8 T-cell response in the central nervous system of mice. We established two transgenic mouse lines which express BDV-N in either neurons (Neuro-N) or astrocytes (Astro-N). Despite strong transgene expression, neurological disease or gross behavioral abnormalities were not observed in these animals. When Neuro-N mice were infected as adults, replication of BDV was severely impaired and was restricted to brain areas with a low density of transgene-expressing cells. Notably, the virus failed to replicate in the transgene-expressing granular and pyramidal neurons of the hippocampus (which are usually the preferred host cells of BDV). When Neuro-N mice were infected within the first 5 days of life, replication of BDV was not suppressed in most neurons, presumably because the onset of transgene expression in the brain occurred after these cells became infected with BDV. Astro-N mice remained susceptible to BDV infection, but they were resistant to BDV-induced neurological disorder. Unlike their nontransgenic littermates, Neuro-N mice with persistent BDV infection did not develop neurological disease after immunization with a vaccinia virus vector expressing BDV-N. In contrast to the situation in wild-type mice, this treatment also failed to induce N-specific CD8 T cells in the spleens of both transgenic mouse lines. Thus, while resistance to BDV infection in N-expressing neurons appeared to result from untimely expression of a viral nucleocapsid component, the resistance to BDV-induced neuropathology probably resulted from immunological tolerance.


    Borna disease virus nucleoprotein interacts with the CDC2-cyclin B1 complex.

    J Virol 2003; 77 (20): 11186-92

    Transition from G(2) to M phase, a cell cycle checkpoint, is regulated by the Cdc2-cyclin B1 complex. Here, we report that persistent infection with Borna disease virus (BDV), a noncytolytic RNA virus infecting the central nervous system, results in decelerated proliferation of infected host cells due to a delayed G(2)-to-M transition. Persistent BDV-infected rat fibroblast cells showed reduced proliferation compared to uninfected cells. In pull-down assays we observed an interaction of the viral nucleoprotein with the Cdc2-cyclin B1 complex. Transfection of the viral nucleoprotein but not of the phosphoprotein also results in decelerated proliferation. This phenomenon was found in BDV-susceptible primary rat fibroblast cells and also in primary mouse cells, which are not susceptible to BDV infection. This is the first evidence that the noncytolytic Borna disease virus can manipulate host cell functions via interaction of the viral nucleoprotein with mitotic entry regulators. BDV preferentially infects and persists in nondividing neurons. The present report could give an explanation for this selective choice of host cell by BDV.


    Borna disease virus phosphoprotein represses p53-mediated transcriptional activity by interference with HMGB1.

    J Virol 2003; 77 (22): 12243-51

    Borna disease virus (BDV) is a noncytolytic, neurotropic RNA virus that has a broad host range in warm-blooded animals, probably including humans. Recently, it was demonstrated that a 24-kDa phosphoprotein (P) of BDV directly binds to a multifunctional protein, amphoterin-HMGB1, and inhibits its function in cultured neural cells (W. Kamitani, Y. Shoya, T. Kobayashi, M. Watanabe, B. J. Lee, G. Zhang, K. Tomonaga, and K. Ikuta, J. Virol. 75:8742-8751, 2001). This observation suggested that expression of BDV P may cause deleterious effects in cellular functions by interference with HMGB1. In this study, we further investigated the significance of the binding between P and HMGB1. We demonstrated that P directly binds to the A-box domain on HMGB1, which is also responsible for interaction with a tumor suppression factor, p53. Recent works have demonstrated that binding between HMGB1 and p53 enhances p53-mediated transcriptional activity. Thus, we examined whether BDV P affects the transcriptional activity of p53 by interference with HMGB1. Mammalian two-hybrid analysis revealed that p53 and P competitively interfere with the binding of each protein to HMGB1 in a p53-deficient cell line, NCI-H1299. In addition, P was able to significantly decrease p53-mediated transcriptional activation of the cyclin G promoter. Furthermore, we showed that activation of p21(waf1) expression was repressed in cyclosporine-treated BDV-infected cells, as well as p53-transduced NCI-H1299 cells. These results suggested that BDV P may be a unique inhibitor of p53 activity via binding to HMGB1.


    Borna disease virus glycoprotein is required for viral dissemination in neurons.

    J Virol 2003; 77 (22): 12222-31

    Borna disease virus (BDV) is a nonsegmented negative-strand RNA virus with a tropism for neurons. Infection with BDV causes neurological diseases in a wide variety of animal species. Although it is known that the virus spreads from neuron to neuron, assembled viral particles have never been visualized in the brains of infected animals. This has led to the hypothesis that BDV spreads as nonenveloped ribonucleoproteins (RNP) rather than as enveloped viral particles. We assessed whether the viral envelope glycoprotein (GP) is required for neuronal dissemination of BDV by using primary cultures of rat hippocampal neurons. We show that upon in vitro infection, BDV replicated and spread efficiently in this system. Despite rapid virus dissemination, very few infectious viral particles were detectable in the culture. However, neutralizing antibodies directed against BDV-GP inhibited BDV spread. In addition, interference with BDV-GP processing by inhibiting furin-mediated cleavage of the glycoprotein blocked virus spread. Finally, antisense treatment with peptide nucleic acids directed against BDV-GP mRNA inhibited BDV dissemination, marking BDV-GP as an attractive target for antiviral therapy against BDV. Together, our results demonstrate that the expression and correct processing of BDV-GP are necessary for BDV dissemination in primary cultures of rat hippocampal neurons, arguing against the hypothesis that the virus spreads from neuron to neuron in the form of nonenveloped RNP.


    Active borna disease virus polymerase complex requires a distinct nucleoprotein-to-phosphoprotein ratio but no viral X protein.

    J Virol 2003; 77 (21): 11781-9

    Analysis of the composition and regulation of the Borna disease virus (BDV) polymerase complex has so far been limited by the lack of a functional assay. To establish such an assay on the basis of an artificial minigenome, we constructed expression vectors encoding either nucleoprotein (N), phosphoprotein (P), X protein, or polymerase (L) of BDV under the control of the chicken beta-actin promoter. A Flag-tagged version of L colocalized with virus-encoded N and P in characteristic nuclear dots of BDV-infected cells and increased viral N-protein levels in persistently infected Vero cells. Vector-driven expression of L, N, and P in BSR-T7 cells together with a negative-sense BDV minigenome carrying a chloramphenicol acetyltransferase (CAT) reporter gene resulted in efficient synthesis of CAT protein. Induction of CAT protein synthesis strongly depended on a 10- to 30-fold molar excess of the N-encoding plasmid over the P-encoding plasmid. Cotransfection of even small amounts of plasmid encoding the viral X protein reduced CAT synthesis to background levels. Thus, the N-to-P stoichiometry seems to play a central role in the regulation of the BDV polymerase complex. Our data further suggest a negative regulatory function for the X protein of BDV.


    Two major histocompatibility complex class I-restricted epitopes of the Borna disease virus p10 protein identified by cytotoxic T lymphocytes induced by DNA-based immunization.

    J Virol 2003; 77 (10): 6076-81

    Borna disease virus (BDV) infection of Lewis rats is the most studied animal model of Borna disease, an often fatal encephalomyelitis. In this experimental model, BDV-specific CD8(+) cytotoxic T lymphocytes (CTLs) play a prominent role in the immunopathogenesis of infection by the noncytolytic, persistent BDV. Of the six open reading frames of BDV, CTLs to BDV X (p10) and the L-polymerase have never been studied. In this study, we used plasmid immunization to investigate the CTL response to BDV X and N. Plasmid-based immunization was a potent CTL inducer in Lewis rats. Anti-X CTLs were primed by a single injection of the p10 cDNA. Two codominant p10 epitopes, M(1)SSDLRLTLL(10) and T(8)LLELVRRL(16), associated with the RT1.A(l) major histocompatibility complex class I molecules of the Lewis rats, were identified. In addition, immunization with a BDV p40-expressing plasmid confirmed the previously reported RT1.A(l)-restricted A(230)SYAQMTTY(238) peptide as the CTL target for BDV N. In contrast to the CTL responses, plasmid vaccination was a poor inducer of an antibody response to p10. Three injections of a recombinant eukaryotic expression plasmid of BDV p10 were needed to generate a weak anti-p10 immunoglobulin M response. However, the antibody response could be optimized by a protein boost after priming with cDNA.


    Modulation of Borna disease virus phosphoprotein nuclear localization by the viral protein X encoded in the overlapping open reading frame.

    J Virol 2003; 77 (14): 8099-107

    Borna disease virus (BDV) is a nonsegmented, negative-strand RNA virus that belongs to the Mononegavirales order. Unlike other animal viruses in this order, BDV replicates and transcribes in the nucleus of infected cells. Therefore, regulation of the intracellular movement of virus components must be critical for accomplishing the BDV life cycle in mammalian cells. Previous studies have demonstrated that BDV proteins are prone to accumulate in the nucleus of cells transiently transfected with each expression plasmid of the viral proteins. In BDV infection, however, cytoplasmic distribution of the viral proteins is frequently found in cultured cells and animal brains. In this study, to understand the modulation of subcellular localization of BDV proteins, we investigated the intracellular localization of the viral phosphoprotein (P). Transient-transfection analysis with a cDNA clone corresponding to a bicistronic transcript that expresses both viral X and P revealed that P efficiently localizes in the cytoplasm only when BDV X is expressed in the cells. Furthermore, our analysis revealed that the direct binding between X and P is necessary for the cytoplasmic localization of the P. Interestingly, we showed that X is not detectably expressed in the BDV-infected cells in which P is predominantly found in the nucleus, with little or no signal in the cytoplasm. These observations suggested that BDV P can modulate their subcellular localization through binding to X and that BDV may regulate the expression ratio of each viral product in infected cells to control the intracellular movement of the viral protein complexes. The results presented here provide a new insight into the regulation of the intracellular movement of viral proteins of a unique, nonsegmented, negative-strand RNA virus.


    Beyond PubMed : called unfree

    Crystallization and preliminary X-ray analysis of the matrix protein of Borna disease virus.

    Acta Crystallogr D Biol Crystallogr 2002; 58 (Pt 8): 1371-3

    The matrix protein M of Borna disease virus (BDV) is associated with the inner viral membrane and is thought to be a mediator between the nucleocapsid and the lipid-containing envelope in stabilizing the virus shape. The full-length BDV-M gene encoding a 16 kDa protein was expressed in Escherichia coli. M was purified to homogeneity and crystallized by the sitting-drop vapour-diffusion method. The crystals of M belong to the space group I432, with unit-cell parameters a = b = c = 144.6 A, and diffract to 3.1 A.


    The neuropathology of fatal encephalomyelitis in human Borna virus infection.

    Acta Neuropathol 2019; ():;

    After many years of controversy, there is now recent and solid evidence that classical Borna disease virus 1 (BoDV-1) can infect humans. On the basis of six brain autopsies, we provide the first systematic overview on BoDV-1 tissue distribution and the lesion pattern in fatal BoDV-1-induced encephalitis. All brains revealed a non-purulent, lymphocytic sclerosing panencephalomyelitis with detection of BoDV-1-typical eosinophilic, spherical intranuclear Joest-Degen inclusion bodies. While the composition of histopathological changes was constant, the inflammatory distribution pattern varied interindividually, affecting predominantly the basal nuclei in two patients, hippocampus in one patient, whereas two patients showed a more diffuse distribution. By immunohistochemistry and RNA in situ hybridization, BoDV-1 was detected in all examined brain tissue samples. Furthermore, infection of the peripheral nervous system was observed. This study aims at raising awareness to human bornavirus encephalitis as differential diagnosis in lymphocytic sclerosing panencephalomyelitis. A higher attention to human BoDV-1 infection by health professionals may likely increase the detection of more cases and foster a clearer picture of the disease.


    Neurological disease and encephalitis in cats experimentally infected with Borna disease virus.

    Acta Neuropathol 1997; 93 (4): 391-401

    Barrier-bred cats were inoculated intracerebrally with either the rabbit-adapted Borna disease virus (BDV) strain V or a newly isolated feline BDV, obtained from a cat with natural staggering disease (SD). Three out of eight inoculated cats developed neurological signs and non-suppurative encephalitis; all three recovered from the acute stage of disease. Sero-conversion and the development of neutralizing antibodies occurred in all of the virus-inoculated cats. In addition, cats inoculated with feline BDV showed an early peripheral T cell response not present in cats inoculated with BDV strain V, suggesting that the feline virus exerted a more vigorous effect on the immune system. Using immunohistochemistry and a reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction assay, BDV-specific antigen and nucleic acid could be demonstrated in brain samples from each cat with encephalitis, showing that incomplete viral clearance was probably responsible for the maintenance of inflammation. The successful induction of neurological signs and encephalitis in one cat infected with feline BDV, together with the detection of BDV-specific antigen and nucleic acid in the brain, provides strong evidence for the notion that BDV is the etiological agent behind feline SD.


    Immunoreactivity of the central nervous system in cats with a Borna disease-like meningoencephalomyelitis (staggering disease).

    Acta Neuropathol 1995; 90 (2): 184-93

    The inflammatory cell composition and the expression of major histocompatibility complex (MHC) antigens in the central nervous system (CNS) of 13 cats with a spontaneous, Borna disease-like meningoencephalomyelitis (staggering disease) was investigated by immunohistochemistry with a panel of monoclonal and polyclonal antibodies. T lymphocytes were the predominating inflammatory cells within the adventitial space. CD4+ T cells were more abundant than CD8+ T cells. Scattered IgG-, IgA- and IgM-containing cells were found in the adventitial space and surrounding neuropil, often adjacent to neurons. There was a markedly increased MHC class II expression in cells morphologically resembling microglia. In several cats, Borna disease virus specific antigen was detected, but only in a few cells, mainly of macrophage character. Our findings indicate a long-standing inflammatory reaction in the CNS of cats with staggering disease, possibly triggered and sustained by a persistent viral infection.


    Determination of immune cells and expression of major histocompatibility complex class II antigen in encephalitic lesions of experimental Borna disease.

    Acta Neuropathol 1990; 81 (1): 41-50

    After intracerebral infection with Borna disease virus adult Lewis rats develop a virus-induced immunopathological reaction resulting in severe neurological symptoms and a non-purulent meningoencephalitis. The composition of inflammatory cells and major histocompatibility complex (MHC) class II antigen expression during the course of the infection was investigated using immunocytochemistry with a panel of monoclonal antibodies (mAb). Macrophages and lymphocytes of the T helper phenotype (CD4+) were dominant at all stages of infection, whereas T suppressor/cytotoxic lymphocytes (CD8+) were less frequent. B lymphocytes and plasma cells occurred mainly during later stages of the disease and marked parenchymal deposition of immunoglobulin developed. Beginning 10 days after infection massive expression of MHC class II antigen was noted up to the termination of experiments 70 days after infection. Besides lymphatic cells and macrophages, cells morphologically resembling microglia expressed this antigen. Furthermore, ependymal cells were found positive for MHC class II expression during infection whereas astrocytes remained negative. These findings are consistent with previous results which provide evidence for a delayed-type hypersensitivity reaction being operative in the pathogenesis of Borna disease.


    Borna disease of horses. An immunohistological and virological study of naturally infected animals.

    Acta Neuropathol 1984; 64 (3): 213-21

    The brains of eight horses that had suffered from natural Borna disease were examined with virologic, immunohistological, and electron-microscopic methods. All brains harbored infectious virus as shown by inoculation of experimental animals. Regional assessment of the infectivity exhibited the highest titers in the hippocampus and piriform cortex and the lowest in the cerebellum. Conventional histology yielded pathologic alterations very similar to those of the classical description of the disease. Immunohistology demonstrated the highest amounts of Borna disease virus-specific antigen in the nuclei of neurons. In the perikarya, dendrites, and axons smaller amounts of antigen were found. A comparison of the antigen distribution with the inflammatory reaction established a high concordance of these two parameters. The presence of virus-specific antigen seems to trigger the exsudation of inflammatory cells, which reflect the extension of the infectious process. Heavy inflammatory exsudates in the white matter underlying diseased cortical areas can be explained by the axonal presence of virus-specific antigen. Virus particles could not be demonstrated with the electron microscope. The most significant findings at the ultrastructural level were stacks of fine filaments, adhering closely to cytoplasmic cisterns. These structures might be related to virus components or might be involved in virus morphogenesis.


    No borna disease virus-specific RNA detected in blood of race horses and jockeys.

    Acta Neuropsychiatr 2006; 18 (3-4): 177-80

    BACKGROUND: Borna disease virus (BDV) predominantly infects horses and sheep, causing a broad range of behavioural disorders. It is controversial whether BDV infects humans and causes psychiatric disorders. OBJECTIVES: We searched for BDV-derived nucleic acids in blood of race horses and jockeys riding the horses. METHODS: We assayed for the BDV genome in RNA extracted from peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMC) of 39 race horses and 48 jockeys. Two polymerase chain reaction protocols [one-tube reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) and two-step RT-PCR] were used to assay BDV p24 and p40 transcripts. RESULTS: The p24 and p40 viral nucleic acid sequences were not detected in the PBMC RNAs from any of the race horses or jockeys. CONCLUSIONS: These data do not support an epidemiological association between BDV infection, race horses and humans.


    Borna disease virus and deficit schizophrenia.

    Acta Neuropsychiatr 2003; 15 (5): 262-5

    BACKGROUND: It is controversial whether Borna disease virus (BDV) infects humans and causes psychiatric disorders. OBJECTIVES: The relationship between BDV infection and schizophrenia with deficit syndrome was investigated. STUDY DESIGN: Using the Schedule for the Deficit Syndrome, 62 schizophrenic in-patients were selected from three psychiatric hospitals. RNA was extracted from peripheral blood mononuclear cells and analyzed using nested reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction with primers to detect BDV p24 and p40. RESULTS AND CONCLUSIONS: BDV transcripts were not detected in samples from any of the 62 schizophrenic patients. These data do not support an etiologic association between BDV infection and the deficit form of schizophrenia.


    Clinical investigation of the relationship between Borna disease virus (BDV) infection and schizophrenia in 67 patients in Japan.

    Acta Psychiatr Scand 1997; 96 (6): 412-5

    The relationship between Borna disease virus (BDV) infection and schizophrenia in the clinical time course was investigated. By nested reverse-transcribed polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) and Western blotting, BDV-specific RNA and anti-BDV antibodies were examined in the EDTA-treated blood from 67 schizophrenic patients (according to DSM-III-R) in Japan. A significantly higher proportion (45%) of anti-BDV antibody and/or BDV RNA carriers were found among these 67 schizophrenic patients than in 26 controls (0%). There were no apparent associations of BDV infection with age, age at onset, period of hospitalization, accompanying somatic diseases, a past history of tuberculosis, a history of transfusion, a family history, or doses of psychotropic drugs. It is possible that, at least, BDV infection in schizophrenic patients may not be a nosocomial (hospital-acquired) infection, although the route of BDV infection in humans remains unidentified. More studies on the relationship between BDV infection and clinical psychosomatic features should be performed in order to elucidate the pathogenesis of schizophrenia.


    Clinically diseased cats with non-suppurative meningoencephalomyelitis have Borna disease virus-specific antibodies.

    Acta Vet Scand 1993; 34 (1): 101-3


    Transolfactory neuroinvasion by viruses threatens the human brain.

    Acta Virol 2015; 59 (4): 338-49

    Viral neuroinvasion via the olfactory system has been investigated in a variety of virus-animal models by scientists in many fields including virologists, pathologists, and neurologists. In humans, herpes simplex virus type 1 (HSV-1), human herpesvirus 6 (HHV-6), Borna disease virus, rabies virus, and influenza A virus have been shown to take the olfactory route for neuroinvasion based on forensic and post-mortem specimens. This article briefly summarizes the anatomy, physiology, and immunology of the olfactory system and presents a battery of neurovirulent viruses that may threaten the human brain by invading through this peripheral pathway, especially focusing on two of the most intensively studied viruses--HSV-1 and influenza A virus. Viruses may insidiously invade the olfactory neural network not only to precipitate encephalitis/encephalopathy but also to promote the development of neurodegenerative and demyelinating disorders. Substantial information obtained by analyzing human specimens is required to argue for or against this hypothesis.


    Assessing the Diversity of Rodent-Borne Viruses: Exploring of High-Throughput Sequencing and Classical Amplification/Sequencing Approaches.

    Adv Virus Res 2017; 99 (): 61-108

    Rodents are distributed throughout the world and interact with humans in many ways. They provide vital ecosystem services, some species are useful models in biomedical research and some are held as pet animals. However, many rodent species can have adverse effects such as damage to crops and stored produce, and they are of health concern because of the transmission of pathogens to humans and livestock. The first rodent viruses were discovered by isolation approaches and resulted in break-through knowledge in immunology, molecular and cell biology, and cancer research. In addition to rodent-specific viruses, rodent-borne viruses are causing a large number of zoonotic diseases. Most prominent examples are reemerging outbreaks of human hemorrhagic fever disease cases caused by arena- and hantaviruses. In addition, rodents are reservoirs for vector-borne pathogens, such as tick-borne encephalitis virus and Borrelia spp., and may carry human pathogenic agents, but likely are not involved in their transmission to human. In our days, next-generation sequencing or high-throughput sequencing (HTS) is revolutionizing the speed of the discovery of novel viruses, but other molecular approaches, such as generic RT-PCR/PCR and rolling circle amplification techniques, contribute significantly to the rapidly ongoing process. However, the current knowledge still represents only the tip of the iceberg, when comparing the known human viruses to those known for rodents, the mammalian taxon with the largest species number. The diagnostic potential of HTS-based metagenomic approaches is illustrated by their use in the discovery and complete genome determination of novel borna- and adenoviruses as causative disease agents in squirrels. In conclusion, HTS, in combination with conventional RT-PCR/PCR-based approaches, resulted in a drastically increased knowledge of the diversity of rodent viruses. Future improvements of the used workflows, including bioinformatics analysis, will further enhance our knowledge and preparedness in case of the emergence of novel viruses. Classical virological and additional molecular approaches are needed for genome annotation and functional characterization of novel viruses, discovered by these technologies, and evaluation of their zoonotic potential.


    Bornavirus tropism and targeted pathogenesis: virus-host interactions in a neurodevelopmental model.

    Adv Virus Res 2001; 56 (): 557-82

    Animal models provide unique opportunities to explore interactions between host and environment. Two models have been established based on Bornavirus infection that provide new insights into mechanisms by which neurotropic agents and/or immune factors may impact developing or mature CNS circuitry to effect complex disturbances in movement and behavior. Distinct losses in DA pathways in the adult infection model, and the associated dramatic movement disorder that accompanies it, make it an intriguing model for tardive dyskinesia and dystonic syndromes. The neuropathologic, physiologic, and neurobehavioral features of BDV infection of neonates indicate that it not only provides a useful model for exploring the mechanisms by which viral and immune factors may damage developing neurocircuitry, but also has significant links to the range of biologic, neurostructural, locomotor, cognitive, and social deficits observed in serious neuropsychiatric illnesses such as autism.


    Borna disease virus-induced retinouveitis treated with immunosuppressive drugs.

    Albrecht Von Graefes Arch Klin Exp Ophthalmol 1981; 216 (2): 111-9

    Borna disease occurs naturally in horses and sheep and causes an encephalomyelitis which is fatal. Little is known about the etiologic agent. There is evidence, however, that this neutrotropic virus belongs to the conventional enveloped RNA viruses. Experimentally infected rabbits exhibited a highly reproducible multifocal retinochoroidopathy. Clinical, histologic, as well as virologic results suggested that immunologic events gave rise to the characteristic clinical, histologic, as well as virologic results suggested that immunologic events gave rise to the characteristic clinical expression of the disease. To investigate possible immunpathologic factors, infected rabbits were treated with immunosuppressive drugs. As compared with controls three outstanding features were observed in the treated group: (1) The time interval between infection and the occurrence of inflammatory ocular foci was considerably prolonged; (2) confluency of retinal lesions was not noted in the early course of the disease; and (3) a lack of ocular lesions or a nonprogression over several days, never observed in controls, occurred in a small percentage of treated animals. These observations indicate that the clinical course of virus-induced inflammatory lesions of the retina and choroid can be changed by treatment with immunosuppressive drugs. It can be assumed that the appearance of the individual fundus lesion depends on the immuno-logic status of the infected host.


    Alzheimer's disease and infection: do infectious agents contribute to progression of Alzheimer's disease?

    Alzheimers Dement 2009; 5 (4): 348-60

    Infection with several important pathogens could constitute risk factors for cognitive impairment, dementia, and Alzheimer's disease (AD) in particular. This review summarizes the data related to infectious agents that appear to have a relationship with AD. Infections with herpes simplex virus type 1, picornavirus, Borna disease virus, Chlamydia pneumoniae, Helicobacter pylori, and spirochete were reported to contribute to the pathophysiology of AD or to cognitive changes. Based on these reports, it may be hypothesized that central nervous system or systemic infections may contribute to the pathogenesis or pathophysiology of AD, and chronic infection with several pathogens should be considered a risk factor for sporadic AD. If this hypothesis holds true, early intervention against infection may delay or even prevent the future development of AD.


    Multifocal retinopathy in Borna disease virus infected rabbits.

    Am J Ophthalmol 1979; 87 (2): 157-64

    Experimental infection of rabbits with Borna disease virus led in all cases to a multifocal retinopathy that paralleled the clinical neurologic symptoms. The retinal changes always became evident first in the lower anterior quadrant of the eye. Infectious virus and antigen were detected in altered and unaltered regions of the retina. Individual chorioretinal lesions showed destruction of the pigment epithelium and the photoreceptors and perivascular inflammation close to small choroidal veins. Because of maximal antigen accumulation and the focal destruction of the retinal pigment epithelium we consider this cell layer to be the initially damaged structure.


    La esquizofrenia y las infecciones premorbidas.

    An R Acad Nac Med (Madr) 2012; 129 (1): 123-33; discussion 133-6

    Schizophrenia is a disease of unknown etiology. Many authors have studied its association with infections. By meta-analysis viruses are the most studied agents, relationship with the Borna virus and human endogenous retrovirus W. Also, C. pneumoniae and C. psittaci DNA in blood are more common in patients. Finally, there is association with parasitism by T. gondii, despite the existence of publication bias. Serologically, in our environment, anti-Toxoplasma IgG may be a risk factor related to schizophrenia, and may have potential value for better diagnosis and prevention.


    The pathogenesis of bornaviral diseases in mammals.

    Anim Health Res Rev 2016; 17 (2): 92-109

    Natural bornavirus infections and their resulting diseases are largely restricted to horses and sheep in Central Europe. The disease also occurs naturally in cats, and can be induced experimentally in laboratory rodents and numerous other mammals. Borna disease virus-1 (BoDV-1), the cause of most cases of mammalian Borna disease, is a negative-stranded RNA virus that replicates within the nucleus of target cells. It causes severe, often lethal, encephalitis in susceptible species. Recent events, especially the discovery of numerous new species of bornaviruses in birds and a report of an acute, lethal bornaviral encephalitis in humans, apparently acquired from squirrels, have revived interest in this remarkable family of viruses. The clinical manifestations of the bornaviral diseases are highly variable. Thus, in addition to acute lethal encephalitis, they can cause persistent neurologic disease associated with diverse behavioral changes. They also cause a severe retinitis resulting in blindness. In this review, we discuss both the pathological lesions observed in mammalian bornaviral disease and the complex pathogenesis of the neurologic disease. Thus infected neurons may be destroyed by T-cell-mediated cytotoxicity. They may die as a result of excessive inflammatory cytokine release from microglia. They may also die as a result of a 'glutaminergic storm' due to a failure of infected astrocytes to regulate brain glutamate levels.


    Birds and bornaviruses.

    Anim Health Res Rev 2012; 13 (2): 145-56

    In 2008, avian bornaviruses (ABV) were identified as the cause of proventricular dilatation disease (PDD). PDD is a significant condition of captive parrots first identified in the late 1970s. ABV infection has subsequently been shown to be widespread in wild waterfowl across the United States and Canada where the virus infects 10-20% of some populations of ducks, geese and swans. In most cases birds appear to be healthy and unaffected by the presence of the virus; however, infection can also result in severe non-suppurative encephalitis and lesions similar to those seen in parrots with PDD. ABVs are genetically diverse with seven identified genotypes in parrots and one in canaries. A unique goose genotype (ABV-CG) predominates in waterfowl in Canada and the northern United States. ABV appears to be endemic in North American waterfowl, in comparison to what appears to be an emerging disease in parrots. It is not known whether ABV can spread between waterfowl and parrots. The discovery of ABV infection in North American waterfowl suggests that European waterfowl should be evaluated for the presence of ABV, and also as a possible reservoir species for Borna disease virus (BDV), a related neurotropic virus affecting horses and sheep in central Europe. Although investigations have suggested that BDV is likely derived from a wildlife reservoir, for which the shrew and water vole are currently prime candidates, we suggest that the existence of other mammalian and avian reservoirs should not be discounted.


    Synthetic peptide-based electrochemiluminescence immunoassay for anti-Borna disease virus p40 and p24 antibodies in rat and horse serum.

    Ann Clin Biochem 2001; 38 (Pt 4): 348-55

    Borna disease virus (BDV) is a neurotropic pathogen that infects a wide variety of vertebrates. We have developed a new electrochemiluminescence immunoassay (ECLIA) for the detection of antibodies to BDV, using three synthetic peptides corresponding to the amino acid residues 3-20 and 338-358 of p40 and 59-79 of p24 peptide of BDV. Using the ECLIA, we examined serum samples for the presence of anti-BDV antibodies in 20 rats (experimentally BDV-infected and uninfected) and 38 horses (13 US horses, experimentally infected and uninfected, and 25 Japanese horses, feral and domestic). The ECLIA, performed in a double-blind manner, detected anti-BDV antibodies in rats with a history of BDV infection, giving results that were in agreement with indirect immunofluorescence assay and/or Western blot (WB) analysis. The ECLIA also correctly identified all three experimentally infected horses and four domestic American horses that were seropositive for BDV antibodies by WB. Among the Japanese horses, at least two out of 10 feral and six out of 15 domestic horses were seropositive for BDV. In most of these cases, the specificity of immunoreactivity was verified by blocking with soluble p40 and p24 peptides.


    Transmission experimentale du virus de l'encephalomyelite de Born etudee ultrastructural de la maladie du lapin et etude analytique de l'infection du hamster.

    Ann Inst Pasteur (Paris) 1972; 123 (4): 537-44


    Borna virus: a new model for slow virus research.

    Ann Inst Pasteur (Paris) 1972; 123 (4): 545-52


    Rat model of autism spectrum disorders. Genetic background effects on Borna disease virus-induced developmental brain damage.

    Ann N Y Acad Sci 2001; 939 (): 318-9


    Regional cytokine, cytokine receptor and neuropeptide mRNA changes associated with behavioral and neuroanatomical abnormalities in persistent, noninflammatory virus infection of neonatal rats.

    Ann N Y Acad Sci 1999; 890 (): 469


    Borna disease virus RNA is absent in chronic multiple sclerosis.

    Ann Neurol 2001; 50 (3): 423-4


    2'-Fluoro-2'-deoxycytidine is a broad-spectrum inhibitor of bunyaviruses in vitro and in phleboviral disease mouse models.

    Antiviral Res 2018; 160 (): 48-54;

    2'-Fluoro-2'-deoxycytidine (2'-FdC) was reported to inhibit various viruses in vitro, including Borna disease, hepatitis C, Lassa fever, influenza and certain herpes viruses, and is inhibitory to influenza viruses in mice. We investigated the antiviral activity of 2'-FdC against several unrelated bunyaviruses in 50% cytopathic effect (CPE) inhibition assays and, with viruses that cause limited CPE, 90% virus yield reduction (VYR) assays. La Crosse (LACV), Maporal, Punta Toro, Rift Valley fever (RVFV), and San Angelo viruses were inhibited in CPE assays at 2.2-9.7muM concentrations. In VYR assays, Heartland and severe fever with thrombocytopenia syndrome (SFTSV) viruses were inhibited at 0.9 and 3.7muM, respectively. In contrast, ribavirin inhibited these viruses at an average of 47muM. Antiviral efficacy studies were also conducted in mice infected with RVFV, SFTSV, and LACV. Against RVFV, 2'-FdC (100 and 200mg/kg/day) and ribavirin (100mg/kg/day) treatments each delayed mortality by approximately 6 days compared to placebo. Liver, spleen, and serum viral titers were significantly reduced by antiviral treatments. 2'-FdC (100 and 200mg/kg/day) prevented death in SFTSV-infected mice, but was not as effective as favipiravir (100mg/kg/day) based on body weight loss during infection. The 100mg/kg/day doses of 2'-FdC and favipiravir significantly reduced liver, spleen, and serum viral titers. 2'-FdC and ribavirin afforded no protection against LACV infection in mice, which is encephalitic and thus inherently more difficult to treat. Taken together, our data suggest that 2'-FdC may be a viable candidate for treating certain non-encephalitic bunyavirus infections such as those caused by phleboviruses.


    Antiviral activity of favipiravir (T-705) against mammalian and avian bornaviruses.

    Antiviral Res 2017; 143 (): 237-245;

    Bornaviruses, non-segmented, negative-strand RNA viruses, are emerging agents with the potential for causing various types of neurological symptoms. Previous studies have shown that ribavirin, a nucleic acid analog with broad-spectrum antiviral activity, has a potent antiviral effect on infections with a mammalian bornavirus, Borna disease virus (BoDV-1), as well as avian bornaviruses. However, ribavirin-based treatment does not eliminate bornaviruses from persistently infected cells and viral replication resumes after treatment cessation. Therefore, the development of a novel effective anti-bornavirus treatment is needed. To identify such agents, we screened nucleoside/nucleotide mimetics for agents with anti-bornavirus activity. We used Vero cells infected with recombinant BoDV-1 carrying Gaussia luciferase to monitor BoDV-1 replication and found that favipiravir (T-705) is a potent inhibitor of BoDV-1 replication. T-705 suppressed BoDV-1 replication in a dose- and time-dependent manner during the observation period of 4 weeks. Notably, no increase in luciferase activity or in the number of BoDV-1-positive cells was detected in the at least 4 weeks following T-705 removal. Finally, we demonstrated that T-705 effectively suppressed viral replication of both BoDV-1 and an avian bornavirus, suggesting that T-705 may have a strong antiviral activity against a broad range of bornaviruses. Our findings provide a novel and effective option for treating persistent bornavirus infection.


    Borna disease virus encoded phosphoprotein inhibits host innate immunity by regulating miR-155.

    Antiviral Res 2013; 98 (1): 66-75

    It has been reported that the Borna disease virus (BDV) encoded phosphoprotein (P protein) can inhibit the activity of Traf family member-associated NF-kappaB activator (TANK)-binding kinase 1 (TBK-1), thus preventing the induction of type I interferon (IFN). However, the effects of microRNA on the regulation of BDV infection and the host's immune response have not been characterized. miR-155 was predicted to be complementary to the BDV P mRNA by RNAhybrid software. Here, we showed that miR-155 was down-regulated in BDV persistently infected human oligodendroglial (OL/BDV) cells and that the BDV P protein, but not the X protein, directly inhibited miR-155 expression in cells. When miR-155 was over-expressed, the inhibition of type I IFNs by BDV in cells was reversed, and the expression of type I IFNs was increased. When miR-155 expression was specifically blocked, cellular IFN expression and the induction of IFN by poly I:C treatment were suppressed. Furthermore, miR-155 promoted type I IFN production by targeting suppressor of cytokine signaling 1 (SOCS1) and SOCS3. Mutations in the nt1138-nt1158 region of SOCS3 abandoned the impact of miR-155 on the expression of SOCS3-enhanced green fluorescent protein (EGFP). The levels of BDV P mRNA and protein were significantly decreased in OL/BDV cells when miR-155 was over-expressed; however, miR-155-mutation did not affect the expression of BDV P-EGFP. Thus, BDV persistent infection inhibited the expression of type I IFNs through the suppression of miR-155, and miR-155 played an important immune regulatory role in BDV persistent infection.


    Modulation of miR-122 on persistently Borna disease virus infected human oligodendroglial cells.

    Antiviral Res 2010; 87 (2): 249-56

    Using RNAhybrid software we found the predicted binding of complementary sequences between miR-122 and viral mRNAs, may be important for the antiviral effect of miR-122 on Borna disease virus (BDV). A moderate expression of miR-122 was identified in human oligodendroglial cells (OL), but with a much lower level of miR-122 in BDV persistent infection (OL/BDV) and cells transfected with BDV gene expression vectors. Over-expression of miR-122 and specific blocking experiments demonstrated that miR-122 was able to specifically inhibit BDV protein synthesis, viral gene replication and transcription, and induce the secretion/synthesis of interferon (IFN) in OL and OL/BDV cells. The abolishment of miR-122 by AMO-122 inhibited endogenous IFN induction by IFN-beta. These results indicate that miR-122 can exert direct antiviral function by inhibiting BDV translation and replication on one hand, while acting indirectly through IFN to increase the host innate immunity to modulate the virus-host interactions on the other hand.


    Ribavirin inhibits Borna disease virus proliferation and fatal neurological diseases in neonatally infected gerbils.

    Antiviral Res 2008; 80 (3): 380-4

    By using neonatal gerbils, we assessed the effect of ribavirin on the proliferation of Borna disease virus (BDV) in the brain. The intracranial inoculation of ribavirin reduced viral propagation in the acutely infected brain, resulting in protection from fatal neurological disorders. We found that the treatment with ribavirin markedly reduces the numbers of OX-42-positive microglial cells, but does not activate expression of Th1 cytokines, in BDV-infected gerbil brains. Our results suggested that ribavirin directly inhibits BDV replication and might be a potential tool for the treatment of BDV infection.


    From animals to man--50 years of development. Proceedings of the International Berlin Symposium on Bornavirus Infections. January 26-28, 2008. Berlin, Germany.

    APMIS Suppl 2008; (124): 3-97


    Essentials in bornavirus virology--an epilogue.

    APMIS Suppl 2008; (124): 94-7


    Human Borna disease virus infection in Australia: serological markers of infection in multi-transfused patients.

    APMIS Suppl 2008; (124): 89-93

    Borna disease virus (BDV) causes neurological disease in horses, however, there is no consensus as to the extent or significance of human infection. BDV antigen levels in plasma (BDVpAg) and anti-BDV were measured by ELISAs. Confirmation was by Western blot (WB), immunofluorescence assay (IFA) or BDV-peptide-epitope ELISA. For 42 volunteers psychiatrically-defined as non-depressed (82 samples) neither BDVpAg nor anti-BDV was detected. For 104 patients with diagnosed depression (290 samples) 1 was BDVpAg positive and 5 anti-BDV positive, one epitope-e8 positive and 4 IFA positive, with 96% concordance for repeat samples. No BDVpAg was detected in 214 pregnant women, 2 were anti-BDV positive, one WB-confirmed (p24/p40). For 219 donors 2 were BDVpAg positive with anti-BDV detected in 5 (2.3%) one IFA 1:10, another IFA 1:40/epitope-e8 positive. In multitransfused patients, 3/168 were BDV pAg positive, with 14/168 anti-BDV positive, 1 epitope-e8 positive, 2 WB positive and 1 IFA 1:10. In BDVpAg positive multi-transfused patients there was an elevated risk of transaminitis. In one case, a patient BDV-negative prior to transfusion was BDVpAg positive for several months posttransfusion (associated with transaminitis). These data provide serological evidence, supported by confirmatory assays and repeat-sample concordance, of BDV infection in Australia, particularly in multi-transfused patients.


    Borna disease virus infection in young children.

    APMIS Suppl 2008; (124): 83-8


    Borna disease virus infection in children with psychiatric disorders.

    APMIS Suppl 2008; (124): 80-2


    Serological evidence for Borna disease virus infection in children, cats and horses in Sicily (Italy).

    APMIS Suppl 2008; (124): 77-9


    Borna disease virus infection in the population of Latium (Italy).

    APMIS Suppl 2008; (124): 74-6


    Borna disease virus infection in Italian children. A potential risk for the developing brain?

    APMIS Suppl 2008; (124): 70-3


    The history and treatment of a bipolar patient diagnosed with Borna disease virus infection. Case report.

    APMIS Suppl 2008; (124): 66-9

    A description of Bipolar Disorder and its treatment costs. The prevalence of various psychiatric disorders in the United States in which Borna Disease Virus (BDV) may play a role. My personal history of Bipolar Disorder including: diagnoses and treatment of Borna Disease Virus infection.


    Human Borna disease virus-infection and its therapy in affective disorders.

    APMIS Suppl 2008; (124): 61-5

    Patients with affective disorders show an enhanced prevalence of Borna disease virus (BDV)-infection. Furthermore, BDV causes latent infection preferably in limbic central nervous structures and is suggested to be causally related to subtypes of affective disorders, especially with melancholic clinical features or bipolarity. Such a possible link was highlighted by the first report of amantadine showing an antidepressive and an antiviral efficacy against BDV in a patient with a bipolar disorder. This article summarizes clinical studies which followed this first report on the use of amantadine in BDV-infected patients with an affective disorder. A special focus is given on an open clinical study in patients with depression (n = 25), a study in remitted patients with affective disorders (n = 16), and the effect of amantadine on severe hypomanic or moderately manic patients with a bipolar disorder in an on-off-on study. In these studies amantadine reduced clinical symptoms paralleled by a reduction of BDV-infection in depressive patients, it also reduced all three BDV-parameters (BDV-Ab, -AG, and -CICs) in remitted patients, and it even reduced severe hypomania and moderate mania in bipolar patients. These data suggest the existence of an etiopathogenetic link between BDV and subtypes of affective disorders.


    Ocular involvement in BDV-infected rabbits and primates.

    APMIS Suppl 2008; (124): 58-60

    A multifocal appearance and a preferential location in the posterior pole of the fundus in the human eye illustrate the clinical manifestation of some retinal pigment epitheliopathies. The etiology of these entities such as "acute pigment epithelitis" and "multifocal placoid pigment-epitheliopathy" as well as "Vogt-Koyanagi-Syndrome" is unknown, however, immune processes or virus infection has been claimed to be of pathogenetic importance. In Vogt-Koyanagi-Harada syndrome encephalitic lesions are detectable in the brain as well as in the retina. No eyes with acute pigment-epithelitis or acute multifocal placoid pigment-epithliopathy as well as Vogt-Harada-syndrome were investigated histologically till now. In our studies of experimental Borna disease in rabbits and rhesus monkeys we found encephalitic lesions and a highly reproducable multifocal retinopathy preferentially located in the posterior pole of the eye.


    Natural and experimental Borna disease virus infections--neuropathology and pathogenetic considerations.

    APMIS Suppl 2008; (124): 53-7


    Borna disease virus: evidence of naturally-occurring infection in cats in Australia.

    APMIS Suppl 2008; (124): 50-2

    In Europe, Borna disease virus (BDV) infection has been linked with staggering disease. The aim of this study was serological investigation for BDV infection in Australian cats. De-identified sera were obtained from domestic cats presented at various veterinary clinics. BDV antigen levels were measured by a monoclonal antibody-based ELISA. Antibody to BDV measured semiquantitatively by ELISA was detected in 0.8% of cats from South Australia and 3.2% of animals from NSW Confirmatory assays for ELISA positive samples included Western blot and immunofluorescence assay (IFA) with BDV-specific staining. Seven BDV-antigen positive sera (2.4%) were identified in sera from cats from New South Wales (NSW). In blinded testing, amongst a large number of negative results, repeat submissions over a seven-month period from a cat co-infected with Feline Immunodeficiency Virus (FIV) were BDV-antigen positive. Anti-BDV antibody detected in this cat by ELISA was confirmed by Western blot (p24/ p40/p56) and IFA. For 4 other anti-BDV ELISA-positive samples, specific reactions with BDV proteins were observed by Western blot. Ten other anti-BDV ELISA-positive samples were IFA positive. These data provide consistent serological evidence that, while horses in Australia are free of BDV infection, there may be a low rate of BDV infection in cats.


    Experiences of Borna disease virus infection in Sweden.

    APMIS Suppl 2008; (124): 46-9

    In the early 1970s a fatal neurological disorder in cats was reported in the areas around Lake Malaren in central Sweden. The major signs were hind-leg ataxia, as well as absence or marked decrease in postural reactions and in some cases behavioural changes. The pathology of the disorder was characterized as a non-suppurative meningoencephalomyelitis, but the etiology was not determined. Almost twenty years later, the disorder now known as staggering disease (SD), was further characterized both clinically and pathologically. The same histopathological picture was seen as in the previous study, with inflammatory nodules, neuronal degeneration and perivascular cuffs mainly consisting of lymphocytes. The most severe inflammatory changes were seen in the grey matter of the brain stem, basal ganglia and hippocampus. Clinically the same major neurological signs were seen. Although the cats were examined for several known infectious agents causing central nervous system (CNS) disturbances, no etiological cause of SD was determined.


    Horses diagnosed clinically and by laboratory methods for bornavirus infection and treated with amantadine: "patients" of the Tierarztliche Klinik fur Pferde in Meerbusch. Case report.

    APMIS Suppl 2008; (124): 44-5


    Infections in horses: diagnosis and therapy.

    APMIS Suppl 2008; (124): 40-3

    Borna Disease Virus (BDV) is a unique RNA virus, whose organs of manifestation are the brain and blood of animals as well as humans. The infection disrupts certain cell functions, but does not damage the cell structure. The infection with BDV can exist without associated clinical symptoms. Furthermore the majority of natural BDV-infections occur unnoticed without causing symptoms particularly those in connection with only a slight BDV-infection. BDV-infected horses can be detected by an extremely practicable ELISA based on blood samples and developed by the Berlin Working Group under guidance of Ludwig and Bode. All three serological Borna-Disease (BD) parameters antigen-, immune complex- and antibody-titer can be measured with this ELISA. However a single testing can not lead to a final evaluation of the infection so that progressive investigations are unavoidable. Blood tests in intervals of 4-6 weeks show the course of infection and help to adjust the specific treatment. After an infection an examination of the antigen- and immune complex-titer will show whether this occurrence is acute and activated or not. Therefore we examined 3481 blood samples of different horses by ELISA. 1841 (50%) were BDV-infected. Approximately 40% of the infected horses were clinically healthy and approximately 43% were clinically ill. The relatively high infection rate could be justified by the fact that these subjects had more or less direct contact with clinically ill horses. Furthermore, it is possible that the highly Borna positive, but not clinically ill horses were tested shortly before the symptoms of disease would appear. Moreover there were also horses that have had a high BDV-titer without showing any sign of the BDV-disease. These animals were thus able to live with the infection. Our investigations focused on highly seropositive BDV-infected horses (1) (Fig. 1). The results can not be linked to BD typical endemic regions due to the fact of today's far more sophisticated testing methods. Horses are more than ever used for leisure activity and become subjects to a worldwide marketing and movement. Any stress situation, especially in competitions as shown in long-term monitoring of sick horses, leads to worsening of symptoms. In this context it should be noted that a test for activated BDV-infection is still not common. EU-wide regulations should therefore be considered.


    Human bornavirus infection-- towards a valid diagnostic system.

    APMIS Suppl 2008; (124): 21-39


    The biology of bornavirus.

    APMIS Suppl 2008; (124): 14-20


    The International Berlin Symposium on Bornavirus Infections--From Animals to Man--50 Years of Development. Introduction.

    APMIS Suppl 2008; (124): 3; discussion 4


    Untersuchungen zur Prophylaxe der Bornaschen Krankheit bei Schafen mittels aktiver Immuniseirung.

    Arch Exp Veterinarmed 1968; 22 (3): 571-83


    Experimentelle Prufung der Empfanglichkeit der Katze fur das Virus der Bornaschen Krankheit.

    Arch Exp Veterinarmed 1966; 20 (4): 859-64


    A separate disease within the syndrome of schizophrenia.

    Arch Gen Psychiatry 2001; 58 (2): 165-71

    If schizophrenia is a clinical syndrome rather than a single disease, the identification of specific diseases within the syndrome would facilitate the advance of knowledge and the development of more specific treatments. We propose that deficit psychopathology (ie, enduring, idiopathic negative symptoms) defines a group of patients with a disease different from schizophrenia without deficit features, as the deficit and nondeficit groups differ in their signs and symptoms, course, biological correlates, treatment response, and etiologic factors. These differences cannot be attributed to more severe positive psychotic symptoms or a greater duration of illness in the deficit group. The alternative interpretation that patients with deficit schizophrenia are at the severe end of a single disease continuum is not supported by risk factor and biological features data, but there is a need for independent replication of these findings. We suggest a series of studies designed to falsify one of these hypotheses, ie, multiple diseases vs a single disease.


    Borna disease virus. A possible etiologic factor in human affective disorders?

    Arch Gen Psychiatry 1985; 42 (11): 1093-6

    Borna disease virus is a unique neurotropic agent that appears to have a predilection for the limbic area of the brain. In some animal species, it can produce a behavioral syndrome characterized by aggressive and passive phases. This syndrome has suggested an analogy to certain human affective disorders. In this preliminary study, we examined the possible involvement of Borna disease virus in the etiology of human mood disorders by assaying for virus-specific antibodies in 265 patients with unipolar or bipolar depression and 105 normal, healthy volunteers. Twelve patients (4.5%) and none of the healthy controls demonstrated this antibody in their serum samples. It will be necessary to replicate and extend these intriguing preliminary results to determine if Borna disease virus is possibly involved in the pathogenesis of affective disorders in humans.


    Persistent Borna virus infection in adult hamsters.

    Arch Gesamte Virusforsch 1973; 40 (1): 52-7


    Evidence for natural Borna disease virus infection in healthy domestic animals in three areas of western China.

    Arch Virol 2014; 159 (8): 1941-9

    Borna disease virus (BDV) is a non-cytolytic, neurotropic RNA virus that can infect many vertebrate species, including humans. To date, BDV infection has been reported in a range of animal species across a broad global geographic distribution. However, a systematic epidemiological survey of BDV infection in domesticated animals in China has yet to be performed. In current study, BDV RNA and antibodies in 2353 blood samples from apparently healthy animals of eight species (horse, donkey, dog, pig, rabbit, cattle, goat, sheep) from three areas in western China (Xinjiang province, Chongqing municipality, and Ningxia province) were assayed using reverse transcription qPCR (RT-qPCR) and ELISA assay. Brain tissue samples from a portion of the BDV RNA- and/or antibody-positive animals were subjected to RT-qPCR and western blotting. As a result, varying prevalence of BDV antibodies and/or RNA was demonstrated in various animal species from three areas, ranging from 4.4 % to 20.0 %. Detection of BDV RNA and/or antibodies in Chongqing pigs (9.2 %) provided the first known evidence of BDV infection in this species. Not all brain tissue samples from animals whose blood was BDV RNA and/or antibody positive contained BDV RNA and protein. This study provides evidence that BDV infection among healthy domestic animal species is more widespread in western China than previously believed.


    Protein kinase C-dependent phosphorylation of Borna disease virus P protein is required for efficient viral spread.

    Arch Virol 2010; 155 (5): 789-93

    Mutational analysis of the phosphate acceptor sites of the Borna disease virus (BDV) phosphoprotein (P) has suggested a role of phosphorylation for viral spread. However, the studied mutant viruses also had two amino acid exchanges in the X protein, because the reading frames of P and X overlap. To determine the relative contribution of P and X to viral attenuation, we studied a P variant with serine-to-leucine substitutions (P(S26L,S28L)) in which the wild-type X sequence was conserved. Viral spread of rBDV-P(S26L,S28L) was impaired in human oligodendroglioma cells and in adult rats. Thus, BDV-P phosphorylation contributes to efficient viral dissemination.


    No evidence of endemic Borna disease virus infection in Australian horses in contrast with endemic infection in other continents.

    Arch Virol 2006; 151 (4): 709-19

    Borna disease virus (BDV) is a unique RNA virus that is a cause of neurological disease in horses, sheep and cats. The finding that BDV also infects humans has raised concern related to the impact of infection with this virus. The extent to which BDV may be endemic in geographical regions outside Europe is of interest in management of international movement of animals including horses. Sera from Australian horses (N = 553) sampled in Sydney, New South Wales (NSW), were analysed for BDV antigen, circulating immune complexes (CICs), and antibodies by monoclonal antibody-based ELISAs. One-tenth of the samples were investigated by further antibody tests, namely immunofluorescence (IFA) and a peptide ELISA, as well as for BDV RNA. The study revealed a very low frequency of serological markers that may be associated with exposure to BDV in Australian horses from NSW with a few sera (0.7%) displaying low range positive results in the CIC assay, and no detectable BDV RNA. This pattern is inconsistent with endemic BDV infection and strongly contrasts with the pattern of endemic infection, particularly in Europe.


    Susceptibility of Borna disease virus to the antiviral action of gamma-interferon: evidence for species-specific differences.

    Arch Virol 2004; 149 (11): 2171-86

    Borna disease virus (BDV) infection in its predominant natural host - horses and sheep - leads to fatal meningoencephalomyelitis. The immune-mediated disease can also be induced experimentally in rats following intra- cerebral BDV infection. Despite a vigorous immune response, BDV persists in the central nervous system (CNS) in surviving rats. However, immunization of rats with BDV-specific T-cells prior to challenge with BDV prevents neurological disease and results in virus clearance from the CNS. To analyze whether interferon gamma (IFNgamma) might contribute to viral clearance in the rat brain, we tested the susceptibility of BDV to the antiviral action of rat IFNgamma using different rat cell lines. Even at high concentrations of IFNgamma, BDV infection of astrocyte and fibroblast cell lines as well as of rat embryo cells could not be inhibited efficiently. Similarly, infection of cultured rat hippocampal slices with BDV was not inhibited by rat IFNgamma. In contrast, de novo BDV infection of monkey kidney cells as well as human oligodendroglial cells was blocked by preincubation with human IFNgamma. Furthermore, IFNgamma reduced the BDV load in persistently BDV-infected human oligodendroglial cells but not in infected rat astrocytes. These data suggest species-specific differences in the susceptibility of BDV to the antiviral action of IFNgamma.


    Regulation of the Borna disease virus polymerase complex by the viral nucleoprotein p38 isoform. Brief Report.

    Arch Virol 2004; 149 (7): 1409-14

    Borna disease virus (BDV) polymerase can be reconstituted by co-expression of the viral genes N, P and L. N codes for two proteins, p39 and p38, resulting from alternative translation initiation. Using a viral minireplicon system we observed that unlike p39, p38 was almost completely inactive when expressed with P and L alone. Since BDV polymerase requires a 10-20 fold excess of N protein over P for high activity, we determined whether p38 might serve as buffer that influences the viral N:P ratio. We demonstrate that p38 efficiently rescued BDV polymerase activity in cells expressing unfavorably high amounts of P.


    Identification of differentially expressed genes in brains of newborn Borna disease virus-infected rats in the absence of inflammation.

    Arch Virol 2003; 148 (1): 45-63

    Infection of newborn rats with Borna disease virus (BDV) leads to viral persistence in the central nervous system without overt signs of inflammation. Nevertheless, these rats display distinct behavioral and neurodevelopmental abnormalities. The molecular basis of the latter is still unknown. Using a cDNA array representing 1200 genes, we sought to identify cellular genes which are differentially expressed following perinatal BDV-infection. RNA samples prepared from different brain regions were analysed at various time points before or after BDV-induced defects become evident. In infected brains, we found upregulated expression of genes encoding brain fatty acid binding protein (B-FABP), beta2-microglobulin (beta2m) and, as described previously, the chemokine IP-10. Kinetic studies revealed sustained increased expression of B-FABP in infected frontal cortices beginning about three weeks p.i. Moreover, a slight transient increase of B-FABP expression in infected hippocampi was observed 3-5 weeks p.i. In situ hybridization studies combined with immunohistochemistry suggested that expression of beta2m was predominantly upregulated in glial cells and possibly also in some neurons. Employing cultured infected hippocampus slices and infected genetically modified mice, we provide evidence, that the observed upregulation of beta2m expression is not triggered by IFN-gamma, but rather by IFN-alpha/beta.


    Experimental vertical transmission of Borna disease virus in the mouse.

    Arch Virol 2003; 148 (8): 1557-68

    We demonstrated the experimental vertical transmission of Borna disease virus (BDV) in pregnant BALB/c mice. Giessen strain He/80 of BDV was used in the present study. Six six-week-old mice were inoculated intraperitoneally with 10(5) 50% tissue culture infective doses (TCID50), and were bred immediately. Four pregnant mice were sacrificed under anaesthesia on the 10th and 14th days after vaginal plug formation. Nine newborns from two maternal mice were sacrificed under anaesthesia on the 7th day after birth. Positive signals with RT-nested PCR techniques for BDV p24-RNAs were seen in the fetuses, placentas and brains of all newborn mice. No immunopositivities for BDV p40 were found in the fetuses or placentas at 10 days' gestation. BDV p40 immunopositivities were found in neurons of the fetal brains and in decidual cells of the placentas at 14 days' gestation. They were also found in neurons of the brains of newborn mice. At 10 days' gestation, no positive signals for BDV p40 sense or antisense riboprobes were seen in the fetal brains or placentas. Positive signals were found in neurons of the fetal brains and decidual cells of the placentas at 14 days' gestation. Positive signals for BDV p40 sense and antisense riboprobes were found in almost all neurons throughout the brains of nine newborn mice. These results suggest that persistent infection with BDV in newborn mice may be induced by vertical transmission during gestation.


    Detection of antibodies to Borna disease virus (BDV) in Turkish horse sera using recombinant p40. Brief report.

    Arch Virol 2002; 147 (2): 429-35

    The nucleoprotein of Borna disease virus (BDV-p40) was produced in a Baculovirus expression system using sf9 cells. The purity and specificity of the recombinant p40 was confirmed by SDS-PAGE and immunoblotting. The recombinant p40 was used in an ELISA to screen horse sera in Turkey. For this, 323 horses from selected cities in the Marmara region of Turkey were examined clinically and serum was collected from each. All horses were clinically healthy except for a few with wounds on the skin. Antibodies to BDV were detected in the sera of 82 (25%) of 323 horse sera. Six sera were selected that had low, medium or high OD values by ELISA and were analysed by Western blotting. All reacted specifically with p40 at a dilution of 1 in 1000. This is the first report of the detection of Borna disease in Turkey and needs further molecular biological investigations to compare the Turkish strains with those strains detected in Europe.


    Neuron-glia interactions in the rat retina infected by Borna disease virus.

    Arch Virol 2000; 145 (1): 127-47

    Neuron-glia interactions in the Borna disease virus (BDV)-infected rat retina were investigated with emphasis on the ultrastructural characterization of degenerative alterations in the ganglion cell and photoreceptor layer. Immuno- and cytochemical techniques were applied to label microglia, macrophages and Muller (macroglial) cells. Four weeks after intracerebral infection of adult rats, the total thickness of the retina was considerably diminished, primarily due to the loss of photoreceptor segments and ganglion cells. A gradual reduction of both plexiform layers was also observed. There was a remarkable increase in the number of microglial cells, predominantly in the ganglion cell and the inner plexiform layers. Ultrastructural analysis confirmed that microglia, but also macrophages, were involved in phagocytosis accompanying severe neuronal degeneration in the ganglion cell and the photoreceptor layer. In contrast, Muller cells showed moderate morphological and cytochemical alterations, indicating that Muller cells play only a minor role in early stages of BDV-induced retinitis. Monitoring neuron-glia interactions in BDV-induced retinopathy, combined with the application of different protocols of immunosuppression effecting the BDV virus and/or the microglia, might help to establish specific strategies to suppress BDV-induced neuronal degeneration.


    Transcriptional control of Borna disease virus (BDV) in persistently BDV-infected cells.

    Arch Virol 1999; 144 (10): 1937-46

    Regulation of viral RNA levels in infected cells is considered important in the investigation of viral transcription and replication. Amounts of Borna disease virus (BDV) RNAs were increased in confluent persistently BDV-infected MDCK cells (MDCK/BDV) cells, while maintained at low levels in growing cells. The amount of 1.9-kb RNA without cap formation and polyadenylation at the 5' and 3' ends respectively were remarkably increased (200% per day) in confluent MDCK/BDV cells. Both the full-length genomic and anti-genomic RNAs were increased accompained by 1.9-kb RNA, suggesting the transcription of the 1.9-kb RNA was important for replication of BDV. Ribavirin has an inhibitory effect on replication and transcription of BDV at concentrations from 1 to 10 microgram/ml [Mizutani T et al., Arch Virol (1998)143: 2039-2 044]. BDV transcripts were decreased with ribavirin treatment and increased after its removal which indicated that ribavirin has a reversible inhibitory effect on BDV transcription. Furthermore, BDV transcription was also decreased by two agents, RMNPA and EICAR, which selectively inhibit enzyme activity related to cap formation at the 5' end of mRNA. On the contrary, when the growing MDCK/BDV cells were treated with actinomycin D, transcripts of BDV RNA were increased for 24 h. These agents and culture conditions in this study were found to be useful tools for up-and down-regulation of BDV transcription in persistently BDV-infected cells.


    Inhibition of Borna disease virus multiplication by interferon: cell line differences in susceptibility.

    Arch Virol 1999; 144 (6): 1209-16

    It has previously been reported that de novo infection of primary rabbit brain cells with Borna disease virus (BDV) can be blocked with interferon-alpha/beta (IFN), whereas this cytokine has no inhibitory effect on BDV in persistently infected rat lung cells [v. Rheinbaben et al., J. Gen. Virol. (1985) 66: 2,777-2,780]. It remained unclear, however, whether these results indicated that IFN exclusively targets early steps of the BDV replication cycle or whether they simply reflected cell line differences. We now show that BDV replication was effectively inhibited by IFN in both acutely and persistently infected monkey Vero cells. By contrast, IFN had no clear protective effect on either de novo or persistent BDV infections of rat C6 glioblastoma cells. IFN protected C6 cells from the cytopathic effects of vesicular stomatitis virus, excluding the possibility that these cells are devoid of a functional IFN system. In primary rat fibroblasts and in a human oligodendroglial cell line, IFN induced an efficient antiviral state against BDV. These results indicate that BDV is highly susceptible to the antiviral effect of IFN in some cell lines, while others seem to lack undefined components of the IFN system which mediate protection against BDV.


    Progress and controversy in Bornavirus research: a meeting report.

    Arch Virol 1999; 144 (4): 835-40


    Borna disease virus infection in racing horses with behavioral and movement disorders.

    Arch Virol 1999; 144 (3): 547-59

    Borna disease virus (BDV) is a neurotropic agent with capacity to infect and cause neurological disease in a broad range of warmblooded hosts including horses, sheep, cattle, cats, and possibly also humans. The epidemiology of BDV is largely unknown. However, it is likely that subclinically infected animals may represent potential virus reservoirs. In two groups of Swedish racing horses, one clinically healthy and one consisting of horses with diffuse neurological signs, the BDV seroprevalence was 24.5% and 57.7%, respectively. BDV RNA was detected in peripheral blood mononuclear cells in 8 out of 28 (28.6%) investigated horses, the majority of the BDV RNA-positive horses belonging to the group with neurological signs. There was a close relationship between the Swedish equine BDV isolates and previously reported equine BDVs in Europe. Our results point to an association of BDV infection with atypical disease patterns in horses such as diffuse mental and gait disturbances. These findings may be of importance for the understanding of the epidemiology of BDV infections in animals and man.


    Inhibition of Borna disease virus replication by ribavirin in persistently infected cells.

    Arch Virol 1998; 143 (10): 2039-44

    Ribavirin at concentrations from 1 to 10 micrograms/ml exhibited inhibitory effects on transcription of Borna disease virus (BDV) in persistently infected cells. Our present study indicates that ribavirin is a candidate anti-BDV drug.


    Borna disease virus is not sensitive to amantadine.

    Arch Virol 1997; 142 (10): 2043-8

    Successful inhibition of Borna disease virus (BDV) by amantadine in cultured cells and in an infected human individual has been reported [Bode et al. (1997) Lancet 349: 178-179]. We now found that infection of monkey Vero cells by laboratory strains of BDV was not influenced by amantadine under conditions that reduced the yields of influenza A virus by about 400 fold. Amantadine treatment of Vero cells persistently infected with BDV did not result in reduced viral RNA levels, and application of the drug to persistently infected BALB/c mice had no effect on the concentration of BDV in their brains. Thus, susceptibility to amantadine is not a characteristic of BDV, although it may be observed with certain primary virus isolates.


    Amantadine does not have antiviral activity against Borna disease virus.

    Arch Virol 1997; 142 (10): 2035-42

    We have investigated the antiviral activity of amantadine (AD) against Borna disease virus (BDV) in several culture cell systems. We present evidence that AD, in the range 5 to 10 microM, does not have antiviral activity against BDV. Treatment of BDV infected cells with AD for six days caused neither a reduction in the number of infected cells, nor a decrease in steady state levels of BDV RNA or proteins. Moreover, treatment of cells with AD prior infection did not affect BDV multiplication, whereas influenza A virus yield was less than 1% with respect to that obtained in untreated control cells.


    N-glycosylated protein(s) are important for the infectivity of Borna disease virus (BDV).

    Arch Virol 1994; 137 (3-4): 405-9

    Tunicamycin inhibited the production of infectious Borna disease virus (BDV) and glycosidase treatment eliminated the infectivity of cell-free virus. A glycoprotein of approximately 17 kDa, found in association with infectious virus, was identified by Concanavalin A binding.


    Borna disease virus-infected astrocytes function in vitro as antigen-presenting and target cells for virus-specific CD4-bearing lymphocytes.

    Arch Virol 1992; 124 (1-2): 95-109

    Astrocytes isolated from the brain of newborn Lewis rats and an astrocytic cell line were susceptible to infection with the neurotropic Borna disease virus in vitro. Since astrocytes also have been found to be infected in vivo it seemed appropriate to test this cell type for interaction with a Borna disease virus-specific CD4+ T cell line. Borna disease virus-infected astrocytes were found to be capable of presenting virus-specific antigen to virus-specific T cells in vitro. However, the response was significantly enhanced if the purified 38/39kDa Borna disease virus-specific protein was added exogenously to the cultures. Beside the function as antigen-presenting cells for various antigens including virus-specific protein and myelin basic protein, persistently infected astrocytes were also found to act as target cells for a CD4+ T cell line as shown in conventional 51Cr release assays after induction of MHC class II expression by gamma interferon. Infection of astrocytes alone did not cause expression of this self antigen. It could be shown that the ability of CD4+ BDV-specific T cells to mediate lysis was in part dependent on the stage of activation. Lymphocytes "activated" before testing exerted high lysis after only 4h of coincubation with target cells, whereas "resting" T cells did not cause significant lysis until 12h of coincubation. The dependence of the interaction between effector and target cells on MHC class II antigen was demonstrated by the finding that antibodies to Ia antigens reduced lysis of target cells.


    Borna disease, a possible hazard for man?

    Arch Virol 1991; 118 (3-4): 143-9

    Evidence is presented that Borna disease (BD) virus, which is known to cause encephalopathy in horses, sheep, and a broad range of experimental animals, or a related agent, can infect man and may induce mental disorders. BD virus-specific antibodies could be demonstrated in 4-7% of sera (depending on origin) from more than 5000 psychiatric or neurological patients from Germany, U.S.A. and Japan. Antibodies from seropositive patients reacted with a BD virus-specific protein translated by RNAs which were transcribed from a cDNA clone obtained from BD virus-infected tissues. When the cerebrospinal fluid from three seropositive patients was inoculated into rabbits or rabbit embryonic brain cell cultures, evidence was obtained that suggests the presence of BD virus or a related agent.


    Influence of immunosuppressive treatment of Borna Disease in rabbits.

    Arch Virol 1981; 67 (3): 217-28

    A total of 72 Borna Disease virus infected rabbits were treated with different concentrations of cyclophosphamide, glucocorticoids or both in combination. Comparison with untreated, infected rabbits showed a drastic alteration in the clinical picture, a considerable prolongation of the survival time, and differences in weight and body temperature during the course of the disease. The immunosuppressed animals had no or low amounts of antibodies in the serum and cerebrospinal fluid, but they harbored infectious virus and high amounts of specific antigen in the brain. A quotient of the relative amount of antibodies and antigen never exceeded 0.20 and was significantly lower than in untreated rabbits. Immunohistologically, differences in location and distribution of antigen as compared to positive untreated animals could not be detected. In the immunosuppressed animals perivascular infiltrates were not observed in the different regions of the brain.


    Spread of infectious virus along the optic nerve into the retina in Borna disease virus-infected rabbits.

    Arch Virol 1979; 61 (4): 283-8

    Selective damage of the optic nerve of 14 rabbits without interfering with the choroidal blood flow which supplies the retina and without altering the autonomic nerve supply was successfully achieved by Xenon coagulation. This procedure interrupted the axonal pathway between the brain and the eye. After experimental infection with Borna disease virus the typical disease could be induced. The pathognomonic retinopathy as well as characteristic perivascular choroidal infiltrates, however, did not appear in eyes with coagulated nerve heads. In general virus-specific antigen or infectious virus were not present in the retinas of such damaged eyes. These results permit the conclusion that the ocular expression of Borna disease is a consequence of virus transport via the optic nerve.


    In vitro studies on Borna virus. II. Properties of the virus.

    Arch Virol 1979; 61 (4): 261-71

    Successful cultivation and titration of Borna disease virus in cell cultures enabled detailed studies of the virus properties. Borna virus is labile towards treatment with heat, pH 3.0 and lipid solvents. It is relatively stable at low temperatures and in frozen state. It is easily inactivated by ultraviolet light as e.g. vesicular stomatitis virus. After ultrafiltration studies, the size of the infectious virus unit is between 80 and 100 nm. Its buoyant density in cesium chloride is 1.165 g per ml. The one step multiplication curve shows that Borna virus has a replication cycle of about 2 days in BSC 1 cells. In growth experiments using antimetabilites it behaves like certain RNA containing viruses. As its multiplication is not inhibited by bromo- and iododeoxyuridine and actinomycin D, no DNA step seems to be involved in virus synthesis. Regarding these properties and the intracellular antigen distribution as shown by fluorescent antibodies, it is not possible to attribute Borna virus to any of the established virus groups.


    In vitro studies on Borna virus. I. The use of cell cultures for the demonstration, titration and production of Borna virus.

    Arch Virol 1978; 57 (1): 63-75

    Borna virus produces non-lytic infections in a wide spectrum of primary cell cultures and cell lines. The sensitivity and virus yields vary with the different cell systems. Accurate virus titrations can be performed in the RK 13 cell line by counting immunoflourescent microfoci between the 5th and 10th day after infection. Since the virus is not released from the cells and does not spread via the culture medium, the use of a semisolid overlay in unnecessary in virus titrations. The cell line most productive for Borna virus is the CV 1 line. The conditions for optimum virus production include a prolonged cultivation period of at least two weeks with regular changes of medium, and an incubation temperature of 35 degrees C. Harvest of the virus requires thorough disruption of the infected cells, preferably by ultrasonication, since Borna virus seems to be closely associated with cellular structures.


    The cerebrospinal fluid of rabbits infected with Borna disease virus.

    Arch Virol 1977; 55 (3): 209-23

    Rabbits were inoculated intracerebrally with Borna disease virus infected brain suspension or tissue culture extracts. In 30 per cent of the diseased animals infectious virus was present in the cerebrospinal fluid (CSF). The CSF had increased numbers of lymphocytes and an elevation of the protein concentration, mainly due to an increase in gamma-globulins, was measured. The gamma-globulins were of oligoclonal character and reacted with a borna disease virus specific antigen of infected brains or tissue culture cells. The antibody titers in the CSF were of similar level to those in the serum. In comparison, those of the CSF of naturally infected horses always exceeded the serum titers. Injection of tracer substances revealed that no drastic damage to the blood-brain barrier was caused during the disease. The results suggest that antibodies detected in the CSF are locally produced. The significance of these findings for the pathogenesis of Borna disease is discussed.


    Molecular characterization of Borna disease virus from naturally infected animals and possible links to human disorders.

    Arch Virol Suppl 1997; 13 (): 183-90

    In this review data are presented which indicate a high degree of genetic stability of BDV in his natural host, the horse. Despite this high degree of sequence conservation, variation in antigenicity was found, which did not influence the pathogenic properties of the virus. In addition, the correlation between BDV-seropositivity and a variety of psychiatric and neurological disorders in humans is discussed. In diagnostically unselected psychiatric patients we found a similar distribution of psychiatric disorders in BDV seropositives compared to seronegatives. Investigations of cerebrospinal fluid revealed cases of BDV encephalitis in BDV seropositive psychiatric and neurological patients. In contrast to others, we have found no evidence for the presence of BDV-RNA or BDV in human peripheral blood leucocytes.


    Clinical similarities and close genetic relationship of human and animal Borna disease virus.

    Arch Virol Suppl 1997; 13 (): 167-82

    Borna disease virus (BDV) is the prototype genus of a new family, Bornaviridae, within the order Mononegavirales. BDV naturally infects animals and man. The symptomatology in animals ranges from subclinical infection to rare cases of encephalitis. Asymptomatic infection seemed more frequent than expected, based on antibody data from 100 healthy horses derived from different stables with a history of diseased cases (30-40% carriers). Likewise, phasic episodes of a neurobehavioral syndrome followed by recovery were much more common than fatal neurologic disease. They were paralleled by expression of BDV antigens (N-protein p40, P-protein p24) and RNA transcripts in peripheral blood mononuclear cells, indicating viral activation. Representative longitudinal studies showed that episodes of depressive illness in humans as well as apathetic phases in infected horses were accompanied by antigen expression and followed a similar clinical course. After recovery, BDV antigen disappeared. This temporal congruence, together with the recent isolation of infectious BDV from such patients, points to a contributory role of this virus in human affective disorders. Successful amelioration of BDV-induced neurobehavioral disease in horses with antidepressants applied in psychiatry, supported a common viral pathomechanism, involving reversible disturbances of the neurotransmitter network in the limbic system. Sequences of genetic material amplified from infected animal tissue and human PBMCs revealed a close interspecies relationship and high sequence conservation of the BDV genome. In human BDV isolates, however, single unique mutations were prominent in four genes. This finding supports the hypothesis that despite of high genomic conservation, species-specific genotypes may be definable, provided the sequences are derived from RNA of infectious virus.


    Molecular characterization of Borna virus RNAs.

    Arch Virol Suppl 1994; 9 (): 417-27

    Borna disease virus is cell-associated in infected animals. Antibodies in animals are directed against BDV proteins of 38/39, 24, and 14.5 kD. cDNA clones that encode these proteins hybridize to five mRNAs of 10.5, 3.6, 2.1, 1.4, and 0.85 kb. The 10.5, 3.6, 2.1, and 0.85 kb RNAs are 3' co-terminal; the 1.4 kb RNA is contained within the 10.5, 3.6, and 2.1 kb species but is not 3' co-terminal. A negative strand 10 kb RNA is also present in infected cells. To determine which of the large 10 kb species represents the genomic RNA, strand-specific probes were used for Northern analyses of RNA from infectious particles isolated by Freon extraction of BDV-infected rat brain. RNA purified from these particles contained both positive and negative sense 10 kb species. Treatment of particles with RNaseA before isolation of RNA resulted in detection of only negative strand species, suggesting that BDV is a negative strand RNA virus. However, the genomic organization of BDV is unlike any known negative strand RNA virus.


    Borna disease virus infection and affective disorders in man.

    Arch Virol Suppl 1993; 7 (): 159-67

    Borna Disease virus (BDV) can persistently infect the central nervous system of a broad spectrum of animal species. The clinical course varies from slight behavioral disturbances to a fatal neurological syndrome. In-vivo diagnosis is based on the strong humoral immune response to BDV antigens. Since also human infections could be confirmed by specific antibodies and increased seroprevalence was found in patients with chronic neurologic or immunologic disorders, the contribution of BDV or a BDV-like human variant to syndromes with yet unknown etiology became of great interest. We presented the first data of a current follow-up study on 70 psychiatric patients who were tested three times each after hospitalization. In contrast to previously found low prevalence of antibody carriers by screening (2-4%), we now found 20% positives by follow-up testing. Furthermore, of the randomly selected patients with different psychiatric diagnosis, the highest proportion of antibody carriers was detected among patients with major depression (more than 30%), compared to only 8% among patients with dysthymia (neurotic depression). This led us to hypothesize that Bornavirus infection might contribute somehow to the syndrome of major depressive illness by altering neuronal cells in the limbic system.


    Brain cell lesions in Borna disease are mediated by T cells.

    Arch Virol Suppl 1993; 7 (): 153-8

    Experimental Borna Disease (BD) in rats is characterized by severe lymphocytic encephalitis and by massive brain cell lesions finally leading to brain atrophy. Treatment of BDV-infected rats with monoclonal antibodies directed against CD4+ and CD8+ T cells could almost completely inhibit the immunopathological reactions and revealed less BDV-infected neurons and astrocytes that expressed MHC class I antigen. Brain cell lesions were minimal, and no obvious brain atrophy could be observed even late after infection. Since BDV itself is not known to exert cytopathic effects and since brain cell damage was independent of antibody titers, brain cell destruction correlates well with the intracerebral presence of CD8+ T cells and the expression of MHC class I antigens. Moreover, BDV-infected brain cells in vitro could be demonstrated to be lysed in a MHC class I-restricted manner. These findings provide evidence that virus-infected neurons can be destructed by T cell mediated cytotoxicity which results in organ atrophy and dementia.


    Pathogenesis of Borna disease.

    Arch Virol Suppl 1993; 7 (): 135-51

    Borna disease represents a unique model of a virus-induced immunological disease of the brain. Naturally occurring in horses and sheep, the mechanisms of pathogenesis have been studied in experimental animals, namely in the rat. Many investigations have revealed that the infection of the natural hosts principally follows the same pathogenic pathways as observed in rats, leading to a severe encephalomyelitis. This affliction of the central nervous system results in severe neurological disorders that again, are fully comparable in laboratory animals to those in the natural and the different experimental hosts. In addition, alterations have been reported which are also based on the infection of the brain and do not result in the classical encephalitic clinical picture but rather in alterations of behavior. However, to all of our knowledge, the various clinical pictures of Borna disease are not caused by the infecting virus itself but rather by the hosts immune response towards it, i.e. by a virus-induced cell-mediated immunopathological reaction. The importance of virus-specific CD4+ T cells as exemplified by a cultured T cell line and of CD8+ T cells as shown by immunomodulatory substances and specific antibody treatment in vivo for the pathogenesis of acute Borna disease will be elucidated here. In addition, evidence will be provided that virus-specific CD8+ T cells are also responsible for the dramatic brain atrophy in the chronic phase of the disease in rats. Therefore, Borna disease not only lends itself exquisitely well to the study of the pathogenesis of an immunopathological disease of the brain but also represents one of the few models for immune-mediated tissue destruction that eventually leads to brain atrophy and clinically to dementia.


    Biology and neurobiology of Borna disease viruses (BDV), defined by antibodies, neutralizability and their pathogenic potential.

    Arch Virol Suppl 1993; 7 (): 111-33

    Borna disease viruses (BDV) isolated from more than 20 naturally infected horses, 2 sheep and a possible feline isolate were included in these studies. Most of these wild-type viruses were grown in rabbit cells. Specifically rabbit-adapted viruses establish persistent infection in immortalized cell lines of various animal species. Brain-, tissue culture-, and cell-free released viruses could all be neutralized with antibodies from naturally and experimentally infected animals (horse; hamster, rat, rabbit, mouse, and chicken), with highest titres in birds. Splenectomized rabbits, which were subsequently infected with BDV, efficiently produced high titres of neutralizing antibodies. All of the neutralizing sera and cerebrospinal fluids from infected animals inhibited tissue culture spread of BDV. Experimental infection and hyperimmunization induced antibodies directed against the major components of the soluble antigen (60, 40/38, 25 and 14.5 kD proteins). Analysis of the s-antigen complex with these sera and 6 stable monoclonal antibodies revealed that it consists of 40/38 and 25 kD proteins. Although each of these antibodies detected intracellular virus-specific structures they did not recognize outer plasma membrane antigens, showed no cross-reactivity, and had no neutralizing capacity. Unifying pathogenetic concepts of this neurotropic virus and its structural elements are discussed.


    Borna disease virus: nature of the etiologic agent and significance of infection in man.

    Arch Virol Suppl 1993; 7 (): 101-9

    This review presents data on the characterization of Borna disease virus (BDV) and its potential as a possible causative agent in humans. The isolation of: (i) BDV-specific cDNA clones that encode various BDV-specific proteins and (ii) partially purified virus particles led to the conclusion that the viral genome consists of negative-sense, single-stranded RNA. The organization of the BDV-specific RNA species appears to be a nested set of overlapping subgenomic RNA transcripts. Furthermore, evidence is presented that BDV can infect humans and may cause certain psychiatric and neurological disorders. This concept is supported by: (i) the finding of virus-specific antibodies in sera of patients with neuropsychiatric diseases and (ii) results obtained during attempts to isolate BDV or a BDV-related agent from the cerebrospinal fluid of seropositive patients.


    The association between Borna Disease Virus and schizophrenia: A systematic review and meta-analysis.

    Asian J Psychiatr 2018; 34 (): 67-73

    INTRODUCTION: Schizophrenia is a disabling psychiatric disorder. The role of Borna Disease Virus (BDV) in the etiology of schizophrenia has been suggested by several studies. However, the existence of such association remained controversial. The present meta-analysis was conducted to evaluate this association. METHOD: This systematic review and meta-analysis was conducted using preferred reporting items for systematic reviews and meta-analysis (PRISMA). Online databases including Scopus, PubMed, Science direct, Embase, PsycINFO, Web of Science and Google scholar search engine were searched until January 15, 2017. The heterogeneity of the studies was evaluated using Cochran's Q test and I(2) statistic. Finally, random effects model was used for combining the results using Stata software version 11.1. RESULT: Overall, 30 studies containing 2533 cases and 4004 controls were included in the meta-analysis. The combined odds ratio (OR) for the relationship between BDV and schizophrenia was estimated to be 2.72 (95%CI: 1.75-4.20). This association based on RT-PCR, WB, IFA, EIA, RLA, ECLIA methods was estimated to be 3.83 (95%CI: 1.59-9.20), 4.99 (95%CI: 1.80-13.85), 1.27 (95%CI: 0.23-7.12), 2.26 (95%CI: 0.48-10.64), 1.67 (95%CI: 0.50-5.56) and 2.88 (95%CI: 1.38-6.01), respectively. Subgroup analysis according to WBC, serum and plasma samples was estimated to be 3.31 (95%CI: 1.19-9.25), 2.21 (95% CI: 1.17-4.17), 2.21 (95%CI: 1.03-4.73) and 7.89 (95%CI: 1.75-35.53), respectively. CONCLUSION: The results indicated the role of BDV in the etiology of schizophrenia.


    Causes of losses including a Borna disease paralytic syndrome affecting young ostriches of one breeding organization over a five-year period (1989-1993).

    Avian Dis 1996; 40 (1): 240-5

    Necropsy records and causes of mortality of ostriches up to 3 months old over a 5-year period (1989-1993) are presented. The data relate to one ostrich enterprise that comprises 10 breeding flocks, five rearing farms, and one hatchery. Causes of mortality are classified into nine major categories. The annual mortality percentages of all hatched ostriches over the 5-year period were 61%, 58%, 30%, 29%, and 16.6%, and the most significant cause of death was a paresis syndrome that accounted for 20%, 11%, 16%, 10.1%, and 2% mortality, respectively. Limb deformities and gastroenteritis were the other principal specific causes of mortality. The paresis syndrome was caused by an agent serologically related to Borna disease virus. Brain extracts from paralyzed ostriches, when given orally or intramuscularly to 5-week-old birds, reproduced the clinical signs and microscopic lesions. The mean time to death was less than 3 weeks for the intramuscularly infected group and was almost twice as long for the orally infected group.


    Abnormal social behaviors in young and adult rats neonatally infected with Borna disease virus.

    Behav Brain Res 2007; 176 (1): 141-8

    Autism spectrum disorders (ASD) have been the focus of a great deal of research and clinical speculation. This intense interest relates to both the perplexing pathogenesis and devastating consequences of these disorders. One of the obstacles to understanding the pathogenesis of autism and to developing efficient treatment has been the paucity of animal models that could be used for hypotheses-driven mechanistic studies of abnormal brain and behavior development and for the pre-clinical testing novel pharmacological treatments. In this report, we briefly review our animal model of ASD based on neonatal Borna disease virus (BDV) infection and present new data about abnormal social interaction in adult BDV-infected rats. We found that neonatal BDV infection profoundly affected social behaviors in adult rats. Compared to the control rats, both 90- and 180-day-old infected rats spent less time in active social interaction and more time in following their partners. In the intruder-resident test, the BDV-infected resident rats exhibited less aggression towards the intruders and showed more the following-the-intruder behavior. The following-the-partner behavior may be an example of "stereotypic" activity due to BDV-induced abnormal social communication between rats. The previously published results and present findings indicate that neonatal BDV infection significantly altered the normal pattern of social interaction in rats. Co-localization of activated microglia and dying Purkinje cells in BDV-infected rats suggests that the BDV model could be used to study a pathogenic link of Purkinje cell dropout and neuroinflammation to abnormal social behaviors.


    Learning deficits in mice with persistent Borna disease virus infection of the CNS associated with elevated chemokine expression.

    Behav Brain Res 2001; 120 (2): 189-201

    Borna disease virus (BDV) is a highly neurotropic RNA virus that causes a CD8(+) T cell-mediated neurological disease in certain mouse strains. We established asymptomatic persistent central nervous system (CNS) infections in mutant C57BL/10J mice that lack functional CD8(+) T cells. When analyzed at adult age for spatial learning abilities in a water maze, BDV-infected mice showed slightly impaired escape performance while their exploratory behavior in an openfield test was indistinguishable from uninfected control mice. Histological and molecular biological analysis revealed extensive viral spread throughout the CNS of infected animals. Most neurons of the hippocampus contained viral antigen, but there was no overt loss of neurons from this structure. We found almost unchanged levels of the proinflammatory cytokines IL-1beta and TNF-alpha, but clearly increased levels of the chemokines IP-10 and RANTES in brains of infected mice. Re-examination of water maze data revealed that only infected mice with IP-10 transcript levels above a certain threshold showed impaired performance, whereas the performance of infected mice with lower IP-10 levels was indistinguishable from uninfected controls. This suggests that BDV infection can disturb the function of the mammalian CNS without causing overt neuronal loss, and that the magnitude of virus-induced chemokine production in the CNS correlates with the degree of impairment.


    Developmental brain injury associated with abnormal play behavior in neonatally Borna disease virus-infected Lewis rats: a model of autism.

    Behav Brain Res 1999; 100 (1-2): 43-50

    Play behavior, nonsocial exploratory activity, and nonplay social interaction were observed in male juvenile Lewis rats with brain developmental injury following neonatal infection with Borna disease virus (BDV). These behaviors were tested using the 'intruder-resident' paradigm, with social isolation of residents for six days prior to testing. Four experimental pairings of infected (BDV) and uninfected (NL) rats were studied as follows: NL-NL; NL BDV; BDV NL; and BDV-BDV (the first member is the resident, the second member is the intruder). Observation of social activities was carried out for 10 min on two consecutive days. Nonsocial exploratory activity (e.g. ambulation and rearing) was similar in BDV and NL residents. Duration of nonplay social investigation (e.g. sniffing, approach, and follow) was higher in BDV residents as compared to NL residents when tested on the first test day. On the second day, all rats showed similar level of nonplay social interaction. When confronted with NL intruders, NL residents exhibited significantly more play behavior compared to the NL-BDV, BDV NL and BDV-BDV pairs, when play behavior was measured by the number of 'pins'. Moreover, irrespective of a type of intruder, NL residents demonstrated higher play soliciting behavior than BDV residents, indicating attenuated readiness to play in BDV-infected rats. The number of pins and play solicitations in BDV-NL pairs significantly increased over the two days of testing, while play activity in NL-BDV pairs declined on the second test day. This pattern suggests that the degree of social reinforcement on the first day of testing affected the level of play on the second day. These data demonstrate deficits in play behavior and other social interactions following BDV-associated developmental brain injury, thus supporting the value of the neonatally BDV-infected rat as an animal model of autism.


    Virus disease as a consequence of viral pathogenicity and the anti-viral immune response.

    Behring Inst Mitt 1992; (91): 38-45

    The brief description of two virus systems, influenza and infectious bursal disease, shows enigmatically how at least two requirements must be met to render a virus pathogenic: the array of the whole genome rather than the formation of a particular "pathogenicity gene" and the capacity of the host cell to provide the appropriate microenvironment for an optimal posttranslational processing of structural proteins. In the case of influenza viruses this relates particularly to the cleavability of the haemagglutinin. Efficient virus replication in cells of vital importance, however, does not necessarily result in the development of pathological conditions, as in Borna disease, where neural cells are loaded with virus, and the disease is mediated by a T cell immune response. Immunological stimuli against this virus do not induce neutralizing antibodies which could mount a protective immunity. Infection with influenza viruses is inhibited by neutralizing antibodies, but the course of the disease in an infected organism is largely influenced by virus-specific antibodies which block virus release. It is difficult, however, to evaluate the effectiveness of this type of mechanism directed against the infected cell besides antibody-dependent and cell-mediated cytolysis.


    Molecular and immunopathological studies of borna disease virus infection in rats.

    Behring Inst Mitt 1991; (89): 163-76

    Borna disease virus is an agent distinct from all known viruses. Pathogenesis of its infection is also unique. This review highlights several aspects of the biology of this viral infection and the preliminary characterization of the agent. BDV can be used to answer important questions in neurobiology. These include neuroinvasiveness and neurotropism of viral agents, CD4+ T cell-mediated immunopathology and tolerance in newborn animals to a persistent viral infection in the CNS and behavioral diseases and eating disorders induced by neurotropic viruses. This review is dedicated to Prof. Dr. Rott on occasion of his 65th birthday in recognition of his immense contributions to studies on Borna disease and also for his success focusing the attention of the scientific community to this still evolving unique viral disease.


    Multifokale Retinopathie bei der experimentellen Bornavirusinfektion des Kaninchens.

    Ber Zusammenkunft Dtsch Ophthalmol Ges 1978; (75): 393-5


    Serological evidence for infections with Borna disease virus in Turkey.

    Berl Munch Tierarztl Wochenschr 2012; 125 (11-12): 452-5

    Distribution of Borna disease virus (BDV) infection outside endemic areas has been studied in several countries. We examined serum samples for anti-BDV antibodies in purebred racing horses and other domestic animals in Turkey. In total serum samples of 437 animals including 282 horses, 50 sheep, 25 goats, 50 cattle, and 30 cats were tested by indirect immunofluorescence assay (IFA). Anti-BDV antibodies were detected in 4.9% of horses, 12% of sheep, 4% of goats, 14% of cattle and 6.6% of cats. No statistical difference was observed between seroprevalence in Arabic and English purebred horses from four different racing centers (p > 0.05). Antibody titers ranged between 1:10 and 1:320. The highest antibody titers were found in sheep and horses and the lowest titer in cattle. Clinical symptoms of Borna disease were not observed in any animal of any species examined. This study confirms the presence of anti-BDV antibodies in racing horses as well as cat population in Turkey. Moreover anti-BDV antibodies are demonstrated for the first time in sheep, goats and cattle in Turkey.


    Untersuchungen auf Antikorper gegen Zoonoseerreger bei Angestellten des Wiener Tiergartens Schonbrunn.

    Berl Munch Tierarztl Wochenschr 2004; 117 (9-10): 404-9

    The aim of this study was to investigate the prevalence of antibodies against zoonotic agents in employees of the zoological garden of Vienna, Schonbrunn, Austria. Sixty out of 120 employees participated in the study. In 97% of them antibodies to at least one zoonotic agent were identified. Only two participants were free of antibodies to the zoonotic agents tested. The following seroprevalences (in brackets) were obtained: Viral zoonotic (and potentially zoonotic) agents: Influenzavirus A/H1N1 (58%), Influenzavirus A/H3N2 (85%), Lymphocytic choriomeningitis virus (13%), Encephalomyocarditis virus (5%), Orthopox- (Cowpox-) virus and Hantavirus type Puumala (3%). Hantavirus type Hantaan and Borna disease virus (all negative). Bacterial zoonotic agents: Bartonella henselae (65 %), Borrelia burgdorferi (10%), Leptospira interrogans serovar copenhageni and serovar icterohaemorrhagiae as well as Chlamydophila psittoci (2% each). Brucella spp., Coxiella bumetii, and Francisella tularensis (all negative). Parasitic zoonotic agents: Toxoplasma gondii (53%), Toxocara spp. (21%), Capillaria hepatica (2%), Fasciola hepatica, Schistosoma mansoni, E. multilocularis, and E. granulosus (all negative). The remarkably high seroprevalence to the causative agent of cat scratch disease, Bartonella henselae, is probably due to the private contact of the employees to cats. Regarding viral zoonotic agents it has to be mentioned that Influenzavirus vaccination and/or human-to-human transmission of especially A/H3N2 Influenzaviruses probably attributed significantly to the very high seroprevalence to both Influenzavirus types A/H1N1 and A/H3N2. When investigating parasitic zoonotic agents, high prevalence rates were found against Toxoplasma gondii and Toxocara spp., however, it was not possible to establish a causal link between seropositivity and the professional activity in the zoo. Interestingly, in the case of antibodies to T. gondii, the typical correlation with age was not found in this study, while in the case of the Toxocara spp. positive subjects a correlation was identified with both age and duration of employment in the zoo. Regarding the later two zoonotic parasites, employees of the zoological garden showed significantly higher seroprevalences than the average Austrian population. Antibodies to Capillaria hepatica, a hepatic-parasite in rodents which is diagnosed in humans rarely, were identified in one employee and another one showed a questionable positive result. Further investigations did not exhibit clinical infestations with the parasite in these two individuals so far.


    Die Verteilung des Bornavirus in naturlich infizierten Tieren mit klinischer Erkrankung.

    Berl Munch Tierarztl Wochenschr 1996; 109 (5): 178-83

    Borna disease (BD) is a naturally occurring enzootic encephalomyelitis of horses and sheep. The aetiological agent, Borna disease virus (BDV) is an unclassified, neurotropic, negative stranded RNA virus. The study aimed at providing further information on BD of naturally infected animals. Samples obtained from 20 animals (18 horses, 1 donkey, 1 sheep) were investigated by a series of virological and molecular biological tests. The highly sensitive reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) method was used to analyze the tissue distribution of BDV-specific RNA. BDV-specific RNA was detected in bulbus olfactorius, nucleus caudatus, hippocampus and cerebral cortex of all infected animals. BDV-RNA was also present in the spinal cord, eye, nasal mucosa, parotide gland, lung, heart, liver, kidney, bladder and ovaries. In addition, BV-specific RNA was also detected in conjunctival fluid, nasal secretions and saliva of two infected animals. By Western Blot assays the highest amounts of BDV antigens were demonstrated in bulbus olfactorius, nucleus caudatus, hippocampus and cerebral cortex.


    Versuche zur Entwicklung eines Reinigungsverfahrens fur das Virus der Bornaschen Erkrankung.

    Berl Munch Tierarztl Wochenschr 1990; 103 (7): 236-9

    Borna disease virus represents an unknown neurotropic agent. It causes encephalitis in horses and sheep. The same or a similar type of virus might be responsible for psychiatric disorders in man. So far, it has been impossible to purify this agent to such an extent that it could be analyzed biochemically or electronmicroscopically. Therefore, different conventional virus purification techniques are applied in order to develop a method for obtaining purified Borna disease virus from infectious rat brain or persistently infected cell culture material.


    Nachweis von Oberflachenantigenen auf Borna Virus infizierten Zellen.

    Berl Munch Tierarztl Wochenschr 1984; 97 (2): 47-51


    EHV-1-Myeloencephalitis des Pferdes.

    Berl Munch Tierarztl Wochenschr 1982; 95 (17): 321-5


    Fluoreszenzserologischer Nachweis von Borna-Virus Antigen.

    Berl Munch Tierarztl Wochenschr 1968; 81 (19): 395-6


    [Pathogenic significance and possible pathogenic mechanism of human endogenous viruses in development of schizophrenia].

    Bing Du Xue Bao 2014; 30 (1): 98-102

    The association between psychogenic illness and human endogenous viruses (HEVs), including human endogenous retrovirus and Borna disease virus, remains unclear. As the component of human genome, HEVs may become the joint of various pathogenic factors of schizophrenia (SZ), such as heredity, environment, and immunity. In this review, we strive to uncover the clinical and laboratory evidence for the roles and possible pathogenic mechanism of HEVs in the development of SZ.


    Borna disease virus nucleoprotein inhibits type I interferon induction through the interferon regulatory factor 7 pathway.

    Biochem Biophys Res Commun 2013; 438 (4): 619-23

    The expression of type I interferon (IFN) is one of the most potent innate defences against viral infection in higher vertebrates. Borna disease virus (BDV) establishes persistent, noncytolytic infections in animals and in cultured cells. Early studies have shown that the BDV phosphoprotein can inhibit the activation of type I IFN through the TBK1-IRF3 pathway. The function of the BDV nucleoprotein in the inhibition of IFN activity is not yet clear. In this study, we demonstrated IRF7 activation and increased IFN-alpha/beta expression in a BDV-persistently infected human oligodendroglia cell line following RNA interference-mediated BDV nucleoprotein silencing. Furthermore, we showed that BDV nucleoprotein prevented the nuclear localisation of IRF7 and inhibited endogenous IFN induction by poly(I:C), coxsackie virus B3 and IFN-beta. Our findings provide evidence for a previously undescribed mechanism by which the BDV nucleoprotein inhibits type I IFN expression by interfering with the IRF7 pathway.


    The comparative biochemistry of viruses and humans: an evolutionary path towards autoimmunity.

    Biol Chem 2019; 400 (5): 629-638

    Analyses of the peptide sharing between five common human viruses (Borna disease virus, influenza A virus, measles virus, mumps virus and rubella virus) and the human proteome highlight a massive viral vs. human peptide overlap that is mathematically unexpected. Evolutionarily, the data underscore a strict relationship between viruses and the origin of eukaryotic cells. Indeed, according to the viral eukaryogenesis hypothesis and in light of the endosymbiotic theory, the first eukaryotic cell (our lineage) originated as a consortium consisting of an archaeal ancestor of the eukaryotic cytoplasm, a bacterial ancestor of the mitochondria and a viral ancestor of the nucleus. From a pathologic point of view, the peptide sequence similarity between viruses and humans may provide a molecular platform for autoimmune crossreactions during immune responses following viral infections/immunizations.


    High-avidity human serum antibodies recognizing linear epitopes of Borna disease virus proteins.

    Biol Psychiatry 2002; 51 (12): 979-87

    BACKGROUND: The recent observation that Borna disease virus (BDV)-reactive antibodies from psychiatric patients exhibit only low avidity for BDV antigen called into question their diagnostic value and raised the possibility that antigenically related microorganisms or self antigens caused the production of these antibodies. We further characterized the specificity of these antibodies. METHODS: We established a peptide array-based screening test that allows the identification of antibodies directed against linear epitopes of the two major BDV proteins, the nucleoprotein (N) and the phosphoprotein (P). RESULTS: Initial tests employing sera of BDV-infected mice and rats or horses with Borna disease revealed a high specificity and sensitivity of this test. All sera recognized epitopes of N, P, or both. Sera of noninfected rats, mice, and horses showed no signals on either peptide array. Several human sera that recognized BDV antigen by indirect immunofluorescence contained antibodies that recognized various linear epitopes of one or even both BDV proteins. Remarkably, antibodies purified from such human serum by matrix-immobilized peptides showed high-avidity binding to BDV antigens when assayed by IFA or Western blotting. CONCLUSIONS: These data suggest that reactive antibodies found in psychiatric patients indeed indicate infection with BDV or a BDV-like agent. However, the poor affinity maturation of BDV-specific human antibodies remains unexplained.


    Prefrontal cortex dysfunction in Borna disease virus (BDV)--infected rats.

    Biol Psychiatry 1996; 40 (7): 629-36

    Viruses have been proposed to play a role in the pathogenesis of schizophrenia; however, the mechanisms by which infection could cause the affective, cognitive, and movement disorders of schizophrenia are not understood. The neurotropic RNA virus, Borna disease (BD) virus, linked to schizophrenia by serologic studies, causes movement and behavior disorders in a wide variety of mammalian and bird hosts. BD rats have hyperactivity and stereotyped behaviors similar to those that follow neurotoxic or electrolytic lesions in frontal cortex or its catecholamine afferents in rats. BD rats have high levels of viral nucleic acid in the prefrontal cortex (PFC), abnormal mesocortical dopamine activity (elevated levels of DOPAC in PFC), yet no alteration in specific binding of D1 or D2 receptor radioligands in PFC. Since frontal lobe dysfunction is frequently reported in schizophrenia, the BD rat model may provide insights into pathogenesis and management of this debilitating psychiatric disease.


    Learning deficiencies in Borna disease virus-infected but clinically healthy rats.

    Biol Psychiatry 1989; 26 (8): 818-28

    Borna disease (BD) virus, a still unclassified neurotropic agent, causes either fatal encephalomyelitis or persistent asymptomatic infection in a variety of animal species. We monitored the neuronal functions of intracerebrally infected but healthy rats with three types of learning experiments. Spatial discrimination learning, using the y maze and the hole board, was significantly less successful in BD virus-infected (I) compared with mock-infected (M) rats. Similarly, I rats tended to show a certain emotional disturbance (reduced resting behavior and less anxiety) as evaluated by open-field and neophobia tests. Furthermore, in two aversive learning experiments (taste aversion and reaction suppression via Skinner box), it appeared that the I rats expressed a significantly diminished ability to learn pain avoidance compared with M rats. In conclusion, we found specific learning deficiencies together with subtle behavioral alterations suggesting that BD virus causes certain modulations of high integrative brain functions which are only detectable under experimental conditions.


    A system of protein target sequences for anti-RNA-viral chemotherapy by a vitamin B6-derived zinc-chelating trioxa-adamantane-triol.

    Bioorg Med Chem 2003; 11 (21): 4599-613

    The synthesis of the structurally unusual heterotricyclic compound 1-[3-hydroxy-5-(hydroxymethyl)-2-methyl-4-pyridinyl]-2,8,9-trioxaadamantane-3,5,7 -triol (trivially named bananin, BN) from pyridoxylidenephloroglucinol and a theoretical prospect on possible biological activities of BN are presented in this report. Pyridoxylidenephloroglucinol is synthesized by Knoevenagel condensation of the vitamin B6 aldehyde pyridoxal with phloroglucinol. Pyridoxylidenephloroglucinol rearranges to light-yellow (4'RS)-1',4'-dihydrobananin by refluxing in 5M hydrochloric acid. Air oxidation subsequently forms BN in the heat which immediately yields orange-yellow (4'RS)-4'-chloro-1',4'-dihydrobananin by 1,4-addition of hydrogen chloride. This intermediate could be isolated but, interestingly, not a BN hydrochloride. Brown BN is finally achieved by base-catalyzed elimination of hydrogen chloride from (4'RS)-4'-chloro-1',4'-dihydrobananin. Regarding possible biological activities, it was demonstrated that BN acts as zinc (Zn2+) chelator. Therefore, a target of interest could be the human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) zinc finger HIV-1 RNA-binding nucleocapsid protein p7 (NCp7). Through suggested zinc ejection from HIV-1 genomic RNA psi-element-binding and HIV-1-RNA-duplex packaging NCp7 by BN, thus rendering NCp7 functionally obsolete, it is deduced that HIV-1 replication and effective infectious virion encapsidation could be inhibited by BN. Furthermore, theoretical and structural considerations propose that BN is converted into bananin 5'-monophosphate (BNP) by the cell type-ubiquitous human enzyme pyridoxal kinase (EC Together with the putative antilentiviral retinoid vitamin A-vitamin B6 conjugate analogue B6RA (Kesel, A. J. Biochem. Biophys. Res. Comm. 2003, 300, 793), BNP is postulated to serve as effector in a system of protein target sequences RX(D/E) of RNA virus components. Human immunodeficiency Retroviridae (HIVs) could possibly be influenced by B6RA and BNP. In addition, candidate targets of B6RA and BNP could be adsorption, transcription and/or viral RNA replication of an interestingly wide RNA virus selection including Picornaviridae (poliovirus, human coxsackievirus, hepatitis A virus), Flaviviridae (yellow fever virus, Dengue virus, West Nile virus, Kunjin virus, St. Louis encephalitis virus, hepatitis C virus), Togaviridae (rubella virus), Coronaviridae (human coronavirus, human SARS-associated coronavirus), Rhabdoviridae (rabies virus), Paramyxoviridae (human parainfluenza virus, measles virus, human respiratory syncytial virus), Filoviridae (Marburg virus, Ebola virus), Bornaviridae (Borna disease virus), Bunyaviridae (Hantaan virus), Arenaviridae (Lassa virus), and Reoviridae (human rotavirus). The postulated scope of 'metabolically trapped' BNP might resemble the antiviral spectrum of the RNA-viral virustatic ribavirin.


    Amantadine in depressive patients with Borna disease virus (BDV) infection: an open trial.

    Bipolar Disord 2000; 2 (1): 65-70

    OBJECTIVE: Originally introduced into pharmacotherapy as an antiviral compound, amantadine was shown to also have multiple pharmacological eftfects on the central nervous system. In addition. only a few studies reported on certain antidepressive properties of amantadine. This effect was highlighted by the discovery of its antiviral effect on Borna disease virus (BDV), which is hypothesized to be an etiopathogenetic factor to subtypes of affective disorders. Therefore, the therapeutical use of amantadine in BDV-infected depressive patients was investigated. METHODS: In this open trial, amantadine was added to antidepressive and or mood-stabilizing compounds treating BDV-infected depressed patients (n = 25) with bipolar or major depressive disorders. Amantadine was given twice a day (100-300 mg/day) for a mean of 11 weeks. Antidepressive treatment response was measured on the Hamilton rating scale for depression (HAM-D) and/or with an operationalized diagnostic criteria system (OPCRIT: version 3.31). Virological response was measured by expression of BDV infection parameters in blood samples. RESULTS: The overall response rate of the amantadine augmentation in the BDV-infected patients with regard to depressive symptoms was 68% after a mean of 2.9 weeks of treatment. Bipolar I patients improved faster and did not show any following hypomania. In addition, the decrease of depression tended to correspond with the decrease in viral activity. CONCLUSION: Amantadine appears to show a remarkable antidepressive efficacy in BDV-infected depressive patients. The antidepressive effect in this open trial appeared to be comparable to standard antidepressives, possibly being a result of its antiviral effect against BDV as a potentially relevant etiopathogenetic factor in these disorders.


    Polymerase chain reaction (PCR) search for viral nucleic acid sequences in schizophrenia.

    Br J Psychiatry 1995; 166 (1): 55-60

    BACKGROUND: Previous studies looking for evidence of viral infection in schizophrenics have yielded conflicting results. We searched for viral nucleic acids to test the hypothesis of the viral aetiology of schizophrenia. METHOD: We used the polymerase chain reaction (PCR) to search for cytomegalovirus (CMV), human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), influenza A, Borna disease virus (BDV), and bovine viral diarrhoea virus (BVDV) in: hippocampus from three schizophrenic and three non-schizophrenic subjects; cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) from 48 schizophrenic patients; CSF and peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMC) from nine sets of identical twins discordant for schizophrenia; and SK-N-SHEP cells co-cultured with schizophrenic and non-schizophrenic brain homogenates. All patients met DSM-III-R criteria. RESULTS: Virus-specific nucleic acids were not found in any of the samples tested. CONCLUSIONS: The absence of viral nucleic acids in the samples tested suggest that, in these patients, schizophrenia is not associated with a persistent or latent infection due to these viruses.


    Kappa opioid control of seizures produced by a virus in an animal model.

    Brain 2006; 129 (Pt 3): 642-54

    Epilepsy remains a major medical problem of unknown aetiology. Potentially, viruses can be environmental triggers for development of seizures in genetically vulnerable individuals. An estimated half of encephalitis patients experience seizures and approximately 4% develop status epilepticus. Epilepsy vulnerability has been associated with a dynorphin promoter region polymorphism or low dynorphin expression genotype, in man. In animals, the dynorphin system in the hippocampus is known to regulate excitability. The present study was designed to test the hypothesis that reduced dynorphin expression in the dentate gyrus of hippocampus due to periadolescent virus exposure leads to epileptic responses. Encephalitis produced by the neurotropic Borna disease virus in the rat caused epileptic responses and dynorphin to disappear via dentate granule cell loss, failed neurogenesis and poor survival of new neurons. Kappa opioid (dynorphin) agonists prevented the behavioural and electroencephalographic seizures produced by convulsant compounds, and these effects were associated with an absence of dynorphin from the dentate gyrus granule cell layer and upregulation of enkephalin in CA1 interneurons, thus reproducing a neurochemical marker of epilepsy, namely low dynorphin tone. A key role for kappa opioids in anticonvulsant protection provides a framework for exploration of viral and other insults that increase seizure vulnerability and may provide insights into potential interventions for treatment of epilepsy.


    Metallothioneins and zinc dysregulation contribute to neurodevelopmental damage in a model of perinatal viral infection.

    Brain Pathol 2006; 16 (1): 1-14

    Neonatal Borna disease (NBD) virus infection in the Lewis rat results in life-long viral persistence and causes behavioral and neurodevelopmental abnormalities. A hallmark of the disorder is progressive loss of cerebellar Purkinje and dentate gyrus granule cells. Findings of increased brain metallothionein-I and -II (MT-I/-II) mRNA expression in cDNA microarray experiments led us to investigate MT isoforms and their relationship to brain zinc metabolism, cellular toxicity, and neurodevelopmental abnormalities in this model. Real-time PCR confirmed marked induction of MT-I/-II mRNA expression in the brains of NBD rats (40.5-fold increase in cerebellum, p<0.0001; 6.8-fold increase in hippocampus, p=0.003; and 9.5-fold increase in striatum, p=0.0012), whereas a trend toward decreased MT-III mRNA was found in hippocampus (1.25-fold decrease, p=0.0841). Double label immunofluorescence revealed prominent MT-I/-II expression in astrocytes throughout the brain; MT-III protein was decreased in granule cell neurons and increased in astrocytes, with differential subcellular distribution from cytoplasmic to nuclear compartments in NBD rat hippocampus. Modified Timm staining of hippocampus revealed reduced zinc in mossy fiber projections to the hilus and CA3, accumulation of zinc in glial cells and degenerating granule cell somata, and robust mossy fiber sprouting into the inner molecular layer of the dentate gyrus. Zinc Transporter 3 (ZnT-3) mRNA expression was decreased in hippocampus (2.3-fold decrease, p= 0.0065); staining for its correlate protein was reduced in hippocampal mossy fibers. Furthermore, 2 molecules implicated in axonal pathfinding and mossy fiber sprouting, the extracellular matrix glycoprotein, tenascin-R (TN-R), and the hyaluronan receptor CD44, were increased in NBD hippocampal neuropil. Abnormal zinc metabolism and mechanisms of neuroplasticity may contribute to the pathogenesis of disease in this model, raising more general implications for neurodevelopmental damage following viral infections in early life.


    Distribution of Borna disease virus in the brain of rats infected with an obesity-inducing virus strain.

    Brain Pathol 2000; 10 (1): 39-48

    Experimental infection of Lewis rats with Borna disease virus (BDV), a nonsegmented, single-stranded RNA virus, usually causes an immune-mediated biphasic neurobehavioral disorder. Such animals develop a persistent infection of the CNS with viral antigen expression in all brain regions and a disseminated nonpurulent meningoencephalitis. Interestingly, intracerebral infection of Lewis rats with a BDV-variant (BDV-ob) causes a rapid increase of body weight with the development of an obesity syndrome without obvious neurological signs. The obese phenotype is correlated with a characteristic distribution of inflammatory lesions and BDV-antigen in the rat brain. Infiltration with mononuclear immune cells and viral antigen expression are restricted to the septum, hippocampus, amygdala and ventromedian tuberal hypothalamus. Therefore, infection with the obesity-inducing BDV-ob results most likely in neuroendocrine dysregulations leading to the development of an obesity syndrome. This might be due to the restriction of viral antigen expression and inflammatory lesions to brain areas which are involved in the regulation of body weight and food intake. The BDV-induced obesity syndrome represents a model for the study of immune-mediated neuroendocrine disorders caused by viral infections of the CNS.


    Microglial activation and neuronal apoptosis in Bornavirus infected neonatal Lewis rats.

    Brain Pathol 2000; 10 (2): 260-72

    Lewis rats neonatally infected with Borna disease virus have a behavioral syndrome characterized by hyperactivity, movement disorders, and abnormal social interactions. Virus is widely distributed in brain; however, neuropathology is focused in dentate gyrus, cerebellum, and neocortex where granule cells, Purkinje cells and pyramidal cells are lost through apoptosis. Although a transient immune response is present, its distribution does not correlate with sites of damage. Neuropathology is instead colocalized with microglial proliferation and expression of MHC class I and class II, ICAM, CD4 and CD8 molecules. Targeted pathogenesis in this system appears to be linked to microglial activation and susceptibility of specific neuronal populations to apoptosis rather than viral tropism or virus-specific immune responses.


    Disturbance of the cortical cholinergic innervation in Borna disease prior to encephalitis.

    Brain Pathol 1998; 8 (1): 39-48

    Rats experimentally infected with the highly neurotropic Borna disease virus (BDV) display a wide variety of dysfunction such as learning deficiencies and behavioral abnormalities. Prior to the onset of encephalitis alterations of one of the major cortical neurotransmitters, acetylcholine, were monitored immunohistochemically by light and electron microscopy of its synthesizing enzyme choline acetyltransferase (ChAT). We found a progressing decrease in the number of ChAT-positive fibers, starting with discrete changes at day 6 post infection (p.i.) and ending with a nearly complete loss of cholinergic fibers, especially in the hippocampus and neocortex, suggesting a massive disturbance of the cholinergic innervation by day 15 p.i.. The fiber pathways (e.g., fimbria-fornix) connecting the basal forebrain with these target areas in the cortex displayed axon spheroids which are often linked to axonal transport dysfunction. No evidence for significant cellular destruction was seen in the brain, including the cells of origin of these axons in the basal forebrain. We conclude that the motor, mood, learning and memory disabilities in BDV-infected rats are likely to result, in part, from cortical cholinergic denervation. The present study gives new insights into the pathogenesis of neurological disease caused by a noncytopathogenic virus.


    Presence of CD4+ and CD8+ T cells and expression of MHC class I and MHC class II antigen in horses with Borna disease virus-induced encephalitis.

    Brain Pathol 1995; 5 (3): 223-30

    Tissues from 9 horses and 1 donkey suffering from natural Borna disease were investigated immunomorphologically. Lymphocytic inflammatory reactions and increased expressions of MHC class I and class II antigen were found in the brain as well as in the trigeminal and olfactory system. Perivascular inflammatory infiltrates were dominated by CD4+ T cells, whereas the majority of CD8+ T cells were disseminated intraparenchymally. No evidence of inflammation was found in the retina. Borna disease virus proteins and nucleic acids were present in the hippocampus, thalamus and medulla oblongata in all 10 animals, in the cerebral cortex, retina, trigeminal ganglion and nerve in 9, in the olfactory epithelium in 6 and in roots and proximal parts of large peripheral nerves in 3. No evidence of infection was found in the autonomic nervous system, lung, heart, liver, kidney or gut. BDV- proteins and nucleic acids were even more abundant in the trigeminal system than in the olfactory system, suggesting that infection may have occurred via the trigeminal nerve.


    Layer specific changes of astroglial gap junctions in the rat cerebellar cortex by persistent Borna Disease Virus infection.

    Brain Res 2008; 1219 (): 143-58

    Neonatal Borna Disease Virus (BDV) infection of the Lewis rat brain, leads to Purkinje cell degeneration, in association with astroglial activation. Since astroglial gap junctions (GJ) are known to influence neuronal degeneration, we investigated BDV dependent changes in astroglial GJ connexins (Cx) Cx43, and Cx30 in the Lewis rat cerebellum, 4, and 8 weeks after neonatal infection. On the mRNA level, RT-PCR demonstrated a BDV dependent increase in cerebellar Cx43, and a decrease in Cx30, 8, but not 4 weeks p.i. On the protein level, Western blot analysis revealed no overall upregulation of Cx43, but an increase of its phosphorylated forms, 8 weeks p.i. Cx30 protein was downregulated. Immunohistochemistry revealed a BDV dependent reduction of Cx43 in the granular layer (GL), 4 weeks p.i. 8 weeks p.i., Cx43 immunoreactivity recovered in the GL, and was induced in the molecular layer (ML). Cx30 revealed a BDV dependent decrease in the GL, both 4, and 8 weeks p.i. Changes in astroglial Cxs correlated not with expression of the astrogliotic marker GFAP, which was upregulated in radial glia. With regard to functional coupling, primary cerebellar astroglial cultures, revealed a BDV dependent increase of Cx43, and Cx30 immunoreactivity and in spreading of the GJ permeant dye Lucifer Yellow. These results demonstrate a massive, BDV dependent reorganization of astroglial Cx expression, and of functional GJ coupling in the cerebellar cortex, which might be of importance for the BDV dependent neurodegeneration in this brain region.


    Persistent Borna Disease Virus infection changes expression and function of astroglial gap junctions in vivo and in vitro.

    Brain Res 2007; 1184 (): 316-32

    Neonatal Borna Disease Virus (BDV) infection of the Lewis rat brain leads to dentate gyrus (DG) degeneration, underlying mechanisms are not fully understood. Since astroglial gap junction (GJ) coupling is known to influence neurodegenerative processes, the question arose whether persistent BDV infection influences astroglial connexins (Cx) Cx43 and Cx30 in the hippocampal formation (HiF) of Lewis rats. RT-PCR and Western blot analysis of forebrain (FB) samples revealed a virus dependent reduction of both Cx types 8 but not 4 weeks post infection (p.i.). Immunohistochemistry revealed an increase of Cx43 in the DG and a decrease in the CA3 region 4 and 8 weeks p.i. Cx30, which was detectable only 8 weeks p.i., revealed a BDV dependent increase in DG and CA3 regions. BDV dependent astrogliosis as revealed by immunodetection of glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP) correlated not with astroglial connexin expression. With regard to functional coupling as revealed by scrape loading, BDV infection resulted in increased spreading of the GJ permeant dye Lucifer yellow in primary hippocampal astroglial cultures, and in increased expression of Cx43 and Cx30 as revealed by immunocytochemistry. In conclusion, persistent BDV infection of the Lewis rat brain leads to changes in astroglial Cx expression both in vivo and in vitro and of functional coupling in vitro. Distribution and time course of these changes suggest them to be a direct result of neurodegeneration in the DG and an indirect effect of neuronal deafferentiation in the CA3 region.


    Effects of genetic background on neonatal Borna disease virus infection-induced neurodevelopmental damage. II. Neurochemical alterations and responses to pharmacological treatments.

    Brain Res 2002; 944 (1-2): 108-23

    The gene-environment interplay is thought to determine variability in clinical conditions and responses to therapy in human neurodevelopmental disorders. Studying abnormal brain and behavior development in inbred strains of rodents can help in the identification of the complex pathogenic mechanisms of the host-environment interaction. This paper is the second one in a series of the two reports of the use of the Borna disease virus (BDV) infection model of neurodevelopmental damage to characterize effects of genetic background on virus-induced neurodevelopmental damage in inbred rat strains, Lewis and Fisher344. The present data demonstrate that neonatal BDV infection produced regional and strain-related alterations in levels of serotonin, norepinephrine and in levels of serotonin turnover at postnatal day 120. Neonatal BDV infection also induced upregulation of hippocampal 5-HT(1a) and cortical 5-HT(2a) receptors in Lewis rats and downregulation of cortical 5-HT(2a) receptors in Fisher344 rats. BDV-associated regional downregulation of D(2) receptors and dopamine transporter sites were noted in Fisher344 rats. In addition to the neurochemical disturbances, neonatal BDV infection induced differential responses to serotonin compounds. While 8-OH-DPAT suppressed virus-enhanced ambulation in BDV-infected Fisher344, fluoxetine inhibited virus-induced hyperactivity in BDV-infected Lewis rats only. The present data provide new insights into the pathogenic events that lead to differential responses to pharmacological treatments in genetically different animals following exposure to the same environmental challenge.


    Effects of genetic background on neonatal Borna disease virus infection-induced neurodevelopmental damage. I. Brain pathology and behavioral deficits.

    Brain Res 2002; 944 (1-2): 97-107

    The pathogenic mechanisms of gene-environment interactions determining variability of human neurodevelopmental disorders remain unclear. In the two consecutive papers, we used the neonatal Borna disease virus (BDV) infection rat model of neurodevelopmental damage to evaluate brain pathology, monoamine alterations, behavioral deficits, and responses to pharmacological treatments in two inbred rat strains, Lewis and Fisher344. The first paper reports that despite comparable virus replication and distribution in the brain of both rat strains, neonatal BDV infection produced significantly greater thinning of the neocortex in BDV-infected Fisher344 rats compared to BDV-infected Lewis rats, while no strain-related differences were found in BDV-induced granule cell loss in the dentate gyrus of the hippocampus and cerebellar hypoplasia. Unlike BDV-infected Lewis rats, more severe BDV-induced brain pathology in Fisher344 rats was associated with (1) greater locomotor activity to novelty and (2) impairment of habituation and prepulse inhibition of the acoustic startle response. The present data demonstrate that the same environmental insult can produce differential neuroanatomical and behavioral abnormalities in genetically different inbred rat strains.


    Detection of Borna disease virus genome in normal human brain tissue.

    Brain Res 1997; 770 (1-2): 307-9

    Borna disease virus (BDV), a neurotropic virus naturally infecting horses and sheep, has been suggested to be associated with human psychiatric disorders. Thus far no extensive studies have been done, providing the evidence of BDV genome in normal human brain tissue. We therefore examined four brain regions of 30 normal autopsy brains for BDV p24 genome. By highly sensitive nested reverse transcriptase (RT)-mediated PCR analysis, we found positive PCR products in two brains: one in frontal and temporal cortices and hippocampus and another in frontal cortex and olfactory bulb. Our results suggest that BDV can infect human brain tissue latently, without causing an apparent neuropsychiatric disorder.


    Borna disease virus-induced hippocampal dentate gyrus damage is associated with spatial learning and memory deficits.

    Brain Res Bull 1999; 48 (1): 23-30

    In neonatally inoculated rats, Borna disease virus (BDV) leads to a persistent infection of the brain in the absence of an inflammatory response and is associated with neuroanatomic, developmental, physiologic, and behavioral abnormalities. One of the most dramatic sites of BDV-associated damage in the neonatal rat brain is the dentate gyrus, a neuroanatomic region believed to play a major role in spatial learning and memory. The absence of a generalized inflammatory response to neonatal BDV infection permits direct effects of viral damage to the dentate gyrus to be examined. In this report, neonatally BDV-infected rats at various stages of dentate gyrus degeneration were evaluated in the Morris water maze, a swimming test that assesses the rats' capacity to navigate by visual cues. Our data demonstrate progressive spatial learning and memory deficits in BDV-infected rats that coincided with a gradual decline in the estimated hippocampal dentate gyrus neuron density.


    Persistent Borna disease virus infection of neonatal rats causes brain regional changes of mRNAs for cytokines, cytokine receptor components and neuropeptides.

    Brain Res Bull 1999; 49 (6): 441-51

    Borna disease virus (BDV) replicates in brain cells. The neonatally infected rat with BDV exhibits developmental-neuromorphological abnormalities, neuronal cytolysis, and multiple behavioral and physiological alterations. Here, we report on the levels of interleukin-1beta (IL-1beta), IL-1 receptor antagonist (IL-1Ra), tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-alpha), transforming growth factor-beta1 (TGF-beta1), IL-1 receptor type I (IL-1RI), IL-1 receptor accessory protein (IL-1R AcP) I and II, glycoprotein 130, and various neuropeptide mRNAs in the cerebellum, parieto-frontal cortex, hippocampus and hypothalamus of BDV-infected rats at 7 and 28 days postintracerebral BDV inoculation. The data show that cytokine and neuropeptide mRNA components are abnormal and differentially modulated in brain regions. IL-1beta, TNF-alpha and TGF-beta1 mRNA levels were up-regulated in all brain regions following BDV inoculation. The same cerebellar samples from BDV-infected animals exhibited the highest levels of IL-1beta, IL-1Ra, TNF-alpha, IL-1RI, and IL-1R AcP II mRNA expression. The profiles of IL-1beta, IL-1Ra, TNF-alpha, and TGF-beta1 mRNA induction in the cerebellar samples were highly intercorrelated, indicating an association among cytokine ligand mRNAs. Cytokine mRNA induction was differentially up-regulated among brain regions, except for TGF-beta1. Specificity of transcriptional changes in response to BDV infection is also suggested by the up-regulation of cytokine and neuropeptide Y mRNAs associated with down-regulation of pro-opiomelanocortin, and with no change of IL-1R AcPI, dynorphin and leptin receptor mRNAs in the same brain region samples. Other data also show a differential mRNA component modulation in distinct brain regions obtained from the same rats depending on the stage of BDV infection. The conclusion of these studies is that cytokines may play a role in the neuropathophysiology of neonatally BDV-infected rats.


    Borna disease virus and the brain.

    Brain Res Bull 1997; 44 (6): 647-64

    Viruses with the ability to establish persistent infection in the central nervous system (CNS) can induce progressive neurologic disorders associated with diverse pathological manifestations. Clinical, epidemiological, and virological evidence supports the hypothesis that viruses contribute to human mental diseases whose etiology remains elusive. Therefore, the investigation of the mechanisms whereby viruses persist in the CNS and disturb normal brain function represents an area of research relevant to clinical and basic neurosciences. Borna disease virus (BDV) causes CNS disease in several vertebrate species characterized by behavioral abnormalities. Based on its unique features, BDV represents the prototype of a new virus family. BDV provides an important model for the investigation of the mechanisms and consequences of viral persistence in the CNS. The BDV paradigm is amenable to study virus-cell interactions in the CNS that can lead to neurodevelopmental abnormalities, immune-mediated damage, as well as alterations in cell differentiated functions that affect brain homeostasis. Moreover, seroepidemiological data and recent molecular studies indicate that BDV is associated with certain neuropsychiatric diseases. The potential role of BDV and of other yet to be uncovered BDV-related viruses in human mental health provides additional impetus for the investigation of this novel neurotropic infectious agent.


    Sorting signals and targeting of infectious agents through axons: an annotation to the 100 years' birth of the name "axon".

    Brain Res Bull 1996; 41 (6): 327-33

    A brief review is given on mechanisms by which axons may be initiated during development and by which the polarity of neurons is maintained by selective sorting and delivery of molecules to axons and dendrites. The use of viruses as tools to study targeting of newly synthesized proteins to axons is described. Emphasis is then given to the hazards that are presented to the individual by the retrograde transport of infectious agents in axons to the brain. Borna disease virus, prions, and Listeria monocytogenes are examined briefly as examples of these mechanisms. These agents have attracted interest previously in veterinary medicine for the most part, but they may present potential and substantial threats to human health. Such infectious agents also represent a new type of virus, a new principle for disease transmission, and a new mechanism for intracellular transport, respectively.


    Early and persistent abnormalities in rats with neonatally acquired Borna disease virus infection.

    Brain Res Bull 1994; 34 (1): 31-40

    Newborn rats inoculated with Borna disease virus (BDV) develop a persistent, tolerant nervous system infection (PTI-NB), with no signs of encephalitis or Borna disease. We measured body weight, body length, taste preferences, and spontaneous locomotor activity over a 4-month period in PTI-NB and control rats. PTI-NB rats had decreased weight and length but not detectable disturbances in growth hormone and insulin-like growth factor-1 biosynthesis as compared to control rats. In single bottle taste acceptance tests, PTI-NB rats did not differ from controls and drank normal amounts of all solutions. When offered a choice of solutions in two-bottle taste preference tests, PTI-NB rats exhibited a normal preference for saccharin and a normal aversion for quinine, but an exaggerated preference for saline. At 1 and 4 months of age, PTI-NB rats were significantly more active than normal rats, although only 1-month-old PTI-NB rats had increased daytime activity. Thus, even in the absence of encephalitis, BDV infection of the PTI-NB rat is associated with a number of physiological and behavioral abnormalities.


    Neonatal Borna disease virus infection (BDV)-induced damage to the cerebellum is associated with sensorimotor deficits in developing Lewis rats.

    Brain Res Dev Brain Res 2001; 126 (1): 1-12

    Neonatal Borna disease virus (BDV) infection of the brain produces developmental damage to the cerebellum in Lewis rats, with minimal classical inflammatory responses. In the present study, we assessed the consequences of this damage by measuring motor coordination and postural skills in developing (postnatal days 4 to 30) Lewis rats that were neonatally infected with BDV. Neonatal BDV infection-induced motor impairments were selective and correlated with the time course of BDV damage to cerebellar development. BDV-induced motor deficits were not seen until the end of postnatal week 2. By postnatal week 3, BDV-infected rats had deficits in negative geotropism, fore- and hind limb placing and grasping. BDV-infected rats also exhibited deficits in the ability to hold on to a bar and to cross a suspended bar. Neonatal BDV infection induced impairments in the acoustic startle response. Compared to controls, neonatally BDV-infected rats exhibited attenuated habituation of the acoustic startle at postnatal day (PND) 23 and decreased startle responsiveness at PND 30. Prepulse inhibition of the acoustic startle remained unaltered in BDV-infected rats. The data demonstrate that neonatal BDV brain infection of rats can be a valuable animal model system for studying the relationship between abnormal brain development and resultant behavioral deficits. Further studies of this model may elucidate specific pathogenic mechanisms that that may have implications in the study of neurodevelopmental human disorders.


    Effects of neonatal rat Borna disease virus (BDV) infection on the postnatal development of the brain monoaminergic systems.

    Brain Res Dev Brain Res 2000; 119 (2): 179-85

    Effects of neonatal Borna disease virus infection (BDV) on the postnatal development of brain monoaminergic systems in rats were studied. Tissue content of norepinephrine (NE), dopamine (DA) and its metabolite, 3,4-dihydroxyphenol acetic acid (DOPAC), and serotonin (5-HT) and its metabolite, 5-hydroxyindole-3-acetic acid (5-HIAA) were assayed by means of HPLC-EC in frontal cortex, cerebellum, hippocampus, hypothalamus and striatum of neonatally BDV-infected and sham-inoculated male Lewis rats of 8, 14, 21, 60 and 90 days of age. Both NE and 5-HT concentrations were significantly affected by neonatal BDV infection. The cortical and cerebellar levels of NE and 5-HT were significantly greater in BDV-infected rats than control animals at postnatal days (PND) 60 and 90. Tissue content of NE in hippocampus was unaffected. In hippocampus, neonatally BDV-infected rats had lower 5-HT levels at PND 8 and significantly elevated levels at PND 21 and onwards. Neither striatal levels of 5-HT nor hypothalamic levels of 5-HT and NE were affected by neonatal BDV infection, suggesting that the monoamine systems in the prenatally maturing brain regions are less sensitive to effects of neonatal viral infection. 5-HIAA/5-HT ratio was not altered in BDV-infected rats indicating no changes in the 5-HT turnover in the brain regions damaged by the virus. Neither DA nor DOPAC/DA ratio was affected by neonatal BDV infection in any of the brain regions examined. The present data demonstrate significant and specific alterations in monoaminergic systems in neonatally BDV-infected rats. This pattern of changes is consistent with the previously reported behavioral abnormalities resulting from neonatal BDV infection.


    Viral teratogenesis: brain developmental damage associated with maturation state at time of infection.

    Brain Res Dev Brain Res 1999; 112 (2): 237-44

    The rat brain continues to mature after birth and is particularly vulnerable to developmental damage following perinatal insult. Borna disease virus (BDV) infection of postnatal day one (PND-1) rat brain causes a non-encephalitic, persistent infection associated with developmental neuroanatomical and behavioral abnormalities. To test the hypothesis that BDV infection during different brain developmental stages yields variable pathological and clinical disease sequelae, rats were examined for BDV-induced neuroanatomical and behavioral abnormalities following inoculation with BDV on PND-15, and the findings were compared to those resulting from inoculation on PND-1. Similar to rats inoculated with BDV on PND-1, PND-15 inoculated rats developed a persistent infection associated with body weight stunting, abnormal salt taste preference and hippocampal neuron degeneration. However, unlike rats infected with BDV on PND-1, PND-15 inoculated rats did not show signs of cerebellar hypoplasia or hyperactivity. Thus, the risk of BDV-induced damage to specific brain regions, and their associated behaviors, appears, in part, dependent upon the brain's developmental stage at time of BDV-infection. These studies provide evidence of the selective vulnerability of specific neuroanatomic regions and behaviors in developing nervous system to virus-induced damage.


    Developmental injury to the cerebellum following perinatal Borna disease virus infection.

    Brain Res Dev Brain Res 1995; 90 (1-2): 45-53

    In rats infected as neonates, Borna disease virus (BDV) infection causes neuroanatomical, behavioral and physiological abnormalities without encephalitis. Neonatal infection with BDV provides a powerful model for studying the effects of virus replication on brain development without inflammation-induced brain damage. Here we report that neonatal BDV infection interfered with cerebellar development in the Lewis rat. Based on cerebellar cross-sectional area measurements, abnormal cerebellar growth was first noted between 7 and 14 days after infection. Reactive astrocytosis was evident by three days after infection, even without encephalitis, and even before identification of viral proteins in the cerebellum. While neonatal BDV infection caused a significant loss in granule cells, infected granule cells were not identified. BDV proteins were readily detected in the Purkinje cells. Thus, persistent BDV infection of Purkinje cells, but not granule cells, was associated with loss of granule cells during cerebellar development, in the absence of encephalitis.


    Borna disease virus infection and schizophrenia: seroprevalence in schizophrenia patients.

    Can J Psychiatry 1998; 43 (2): 197


    Surface glycoprotein of Borna disease virus mediates virus spread from cell to cell.

    Cell Microbiol 2016; 18 (3): 340-54

    Borna disease virus (BDV) is a non-segmented negative-stranded RNA virus that maintains a strictly neurotropic and persistent infection in affected end hosts. The primary target cells for BDV infection are brain cells, e.g. neurons and astrocytes. The exact mechanism of how infection is propagated between these cells and especially the role of the viral glycoprotein (GP) for cell-cell transmission, however, are still incompletely understood. Here, we use different cell culture systems, including rat primary astrocytes and mixed cultures of rat brain cells, to show that BDV primarily spreads through cell-cell contacts. We employ a highly stable and efficient peptidomimetic inhibitor to inhibit the furin-mediated processing of GP and demonstrate that cleaved and fusion-active GP is strictly necessary for the cell-to-cell spread of BDV. Together, our quantitative observations clarify the role of Borna disease virus-glycoprotein for viral dissemination and highlight the regulation of GP expression as a potential mechanism to limit viral spread and maintain persistence. These findings furthermore indicate that targeting host cell proteases might be a promising approach to inhibit viral GP activation and spread of infection.


    Borna disease virus: a unique pathogen and its interaction with intracellular signalling pathways.

    Cell Microbiol 2009; 11 (6): 872-9

    Borna disease virus (BDV) is a neurotropic RNA virus that establishes non-cytolytic persistent infection in the central nervous system of warm-blooded animals. Depending on the host species and the route of infection, BDV persistence can modulate neuronal plasticity and animal behaviour and/or may provoke a T cell-mediated immunopathological reaction with high mortality. Therefore, BDV functions as a model pathogen to study persistent virus infection in the central nervous system. Here, we review recent evidence showing that BDV interferes with a spectrum of intracellular signalling pathways, which may be involved in viral spread, maintenance of persistence and modulation of neurotransmitter pathways.

  • Borna virus
  • *19290912*

    Absence of a robust innate immune response in rat neurons facilitates persistent infection of Borna disease virus in neuronal tissue.

    Cell Mol Life Sci 2013; 70 (22): 4399-410

    Borna disease virus (BDV) persistently infects neurons of the central nervous system of various hosts, including rats. Since type I IFN-mediated antiviral response efficiently blocks BDV replication in primary rat embryo fibroblasts, it has been speculated that BDV is not effectively sensed by the host innate immune system in the nervous system. To test this assumption, organotypical rat hippocampal slice cultures were infected with BDV for up to 4 weeks. This resulted in the secretion of IFN and the up-regulation of IFN-stimulated genes. Using the rat Mx protein as a specific marker for IFN-induced gene expression, astrocytes and microglial cells were found to be Mx positive, whereas neurons, the major cell type in which BDV is replicating, lacked detectable levels of Mx protein. In uninfected cultures, neurons also remained Mx negative even after treatment with high concentrations of IFN-alpha. This non-responsiveness correlated with a lack of detectable nuclear translocation of both pSTAT1 and pSTAT2 in these cells. Consistently, neuronal dissemination of BDV was not prevented by treatment with IFN-alpha. These data suggest that the poor innate immune response in rat neurons renders this cell type highly susceptible to BDV infection even in the presence of exogenous IFN-alpha. Intriguingly, in contrast to rat neurons, IFN-alpha treatment of mouse neurons resulted in the up-regulation of Mx proteins and block of BDV replication, indicating species-specific differences in the type I IFN response of neurons between mice and rats.


    Structural aspects of rabies virus replication.

    Cell Mol Life Sci 2008; 65 (2): 282-94

    Rabies virus is a negative-strand RNA virus. Its RNA genome is condensed by the viral nucleoprotein (N), and it is this N-RNA complex that is the template for transcription and replication by the viral RNA-dependent RNA polymerase complex. Here we discuss structural and functional aspects of viral transcription and replication based on the atomic structure of a recombinant rabies virus N-RNA complex. We situate available biochemical data on N-RNA interactions with viral and cellular factors in the structural framework with regard to their implications for transcription and replication. Finally, we compare the structure of the rabies virus nucleoprotein with the structures of the nucleoproteins of vesicular stomatitis virus, Borna disease virus and influenza virus, highlighting potential similarities between these virus families.


    Genome trimming by Borna disease viruses: viral replication control or escape from cellular surveillance?

    Cell Mol Life Sci 2007; 64 (9): 1038-42

    Persistence of RNA viruses is frequently associated with non-uniform terminal nucleotide deletions at both ends of the viral genome, which are believed to restrict viral replication and transcription during persistent infection. Borna disease virus (BDV), a negative strand RNA virus with no recognizable acute phase, quickly establishes persistence. We recently demonstrated that the vast majority of BDV genomes and antigenomes possess uniformly trimmed 5' termini, even if the virus is recovered from complementary DNA encoding a hypothetical full-length viral genome. Here we discuss different mechanisms which might lead to the selective 5'-terminal trimming of the BDV genome and subsequent retrieval of the lost genetic information. We further discuss possible benefits of genome trimming in the light of recent findings that terminal RNA structures are recognized by intracellular sensors which trigger innate immunity. We hypothesize that 5'-terminal genome trimming might represent a smart strategy of BDV to evade the antiviral host response.


    Viral interference with neuronal integrity: what can we learn from the Borna disease virus?

    Cell Tissue Res 2011; 344 (1): 13-6

    The neurotropic Borna disease virus (BDV) is unusual in that it can persistently infect neurons of the central nervous system (CNS) without causing general cell death, reflecting its favourable adaptation to the brain. The activity-dependent enhancement of neuronal network activity is however disturbed after BDV infection, possibly by its effect on the protein kinase C signalling pathway. The best model for studying BDV, which has a non-cytolytic replication strategy in primary neurons, is the rat. Infection of adult rats results in a fatal immune-mediated disease, whereas BDV establishes persistent infection of the brain in newborn rats resulting in progressive neuronal cell loss in defined regions of the CNS. Our recently developed system of BDV-infected hippocampal slice cultures has clearly shown that the onset of granule cell loss begins after the formation of the mossy fibre projection. Quantitative analysis has revealed a significant increase in synaptic density on identified remaining granule cell dendrites at 6 weeks after infection, followed by a decline. Granule cells are the major target of entorhinal afferents. However, despite an almost complete loss of dentate granule cells during BDV infection, entorhinal axons persist in their correct layer, both in vivo and in slice cultures, possibly exploiting rewiring capabilities and thereby allowing new synapse formation with available targets. These morphological observations, together with electrophysiological and biochemical data, indicate that BDV is a suitable model virus for studying virus-induced morphological and functional changes of neurons and connectivity patterns.


    Borna disease virus infection alters synaptic input of neurons in rat dentate gyrus.

    Cell Tissue Res 2009; 338 (2): 179-90

    Granule cells are major targets of entorhinal afferents terminating in a laminar fashion in the outer molecular layer of the dentate gyrus. Since Borna disease virus (BDV) infection of newborn rats causes a progressive loss of granule cells in the dentate gyrus, entorhinal fibres become disjoined from their main targets. We have investigated the extent to which entorhinal axons react to this loss of granule cells. Unexpectedly, anterograde DiI tracing has shown a prominent layered termination of the entorhinal projection, despite an almost complete loss of granule cells at 9 weeks after infection. Combined light- and electron-microscopic analysis of dendrites at the outer molecular layer of the dentate gyrus at 6 and 9 weeks post-infection has revealed a transient increase in the synaptic density of calbindin-positive granule cells and parvalbuminergic neurons after 6 weeks. In contrast, synaptic density reaches values similar to those of uninfected controls 9 weeks post-infection. These findings indicate that, after BDV infection, synaptic reorganization processes occur at peripheral dendrites of the remaining granule cells and parvalbuminergic neurons, including the unexpected persistence of entorhinal axons in the absence of their main targets.


    Exploring the cerebellum with a new tool: neonatal Borna disease virus (BDV) infection of the rat's brain.

    Cerebellum 2003; 2 (1): 62-70

    Cerebellar pathology has been associated with a number of developmental behavioral disorders, including autism spectrum disorders. Despite the fact that perinatal virus infections have been implicated in neurodevelopmental damage, few animal models have been developed to study the pathogenesis involved. One of the most interesting in vivo models of virus-induced cerebellar damage is the neonatal Borna disease virus (BDV) infection of the rat brain. The present review describes molecular, cellular, neuroanatomical, neurochemical and behavioral features of the BDV model and also provides a basis for a new understanding of the pathogenic mechanisms of cerebellar malformation and associated behavioral deficits.


    Infection with Borna disease virus: molecular and immunobiological characterization of the agent.

    Clin Infect Dis 1992; 14 (6): 1240-50

    Borna disease virus (BDV), which seems to be distinct from all other known viruses, exhibits a unique mechanism of pathogenesis. This review highlights several aspects of the biology of infection with this virus and summarizes the preliminary characterization of the agent. Studies on BDV may help to illuminate several important areas of neurobiology, including the mechanisms regulating the replication of a new type of RNA virus in the nuclei of neural cells, the neuroinvasiveness and neurotropism of such viruses, their T cell-mediated immunopathology, tolerance in newborn animals to persistent viral infection of the central nervous system, and behavioral diseases and eating disorders induced by such agents.


    No serologic evidence of borna disease virus in patients with chronic fatigue syndrome.

    Clin Infect Dis 1992; 15 (6): 1049


    Autochthonous Dobrava-Belgrade virus infection in Eastern Germany.

    Clin Nephrol 2015; 83 (2): 111-6

    A 21-year-old male patient from Borna, Saxony, in Eastern Germany, suffered from acute kidney injury (AKI) and symptoms typical for a hantavirus infection. These symptoms included nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, diarrhea, and acute renal failure. Serological investigations by indirect IgM and IgG in-house ELISAs, commercial immunofluorescence and line assays, as well as chemiluminescence focus reduction neutralization assay confirmed an acute Dobrava-Belgrade virus (DOBV) infection of the patient. Serological and RT-PCR analyses of striped field mouse (Apodemus agrarius) trapped in a neighboring region of the residence of the patient identified an infection by DOBV, genotype Kurkino. This is the first report of an autochthonous DOBV infection in a German patient living far from the known endemic region in the north of the country. This finding has implications for the awareness of physicians in areas which are not recognized as hantavirus endemic regions but where the reservoir host of the virus is present.


    Retroviral interference with neuronotrophic signaling in human motor neuron disease?

    Clin Physiol Biochem 1993; 10 (1): 1-7

    We tested 13/32 patients with non-familial amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) positive (41%) for human spuma retrovirus (HSRV) seroreactivity. Half the non-ALS HSRV-positive neurologic patients (12/25) reported multiple fasciculations within the last two years. Sera from four HSRV-env negative ALS patients measurably competed with visna antibodies on maedi-visna antigen. The serologies for bovine leukemia virus, Borna disease virus and GM1IgM-antibodies remained negative. Both visna and foamy virus sequences share epitopes with motor nervous system signal polypeptides, suggesting a retroviral interference with motor neurono-axonal function and neuronotrophic signals.


    An association of virus infection with type 2 diabetes and Alzheimer's disease.

    CNS Neurol Disord Drug Targets 2014; 13 (3): 429-39

    Diabetes mellitus type 2 is a metabolic disorder characterized by high blood glucose due to insulin deficiency or resistance. Alzheimer's disease (AD) is a complex neurodegenerative disease leading to irreversible loss of neurons, intellectual abilities, memory and reasoning. The worldwide prevalence of diabetes and AD in elderly population is a major public health concern. Interestingly, both health issues are unraveling the puzzling links. The clinico-pathological relationship between diabetes and AD has been reported at genomic and proteomic levels. The association of virus infection in type 2 diabetes mellitus and AD has been reported in few recent studies, some have shown direct evidence of virus infection in diabetes and AD while other have shown that diabetes increases the risk of developing AD. This review aims to summarize the association of few common viruses like Hepatitis C Virus and Herpes Simplex Virus-1 which affects both these two age-related devastating diseases. We also discuss the pathological links of Influenza virus, Cytomegalovirus, West Nile virus, Enterovirus, Herpes Simplex Virus-2, Hepatitis viruses in diabetes and Influenza virus, Picornavirus and Borna disease virus in AD. Establishing such relationships and defining their common pathogenesis and patho-physiological mechanisms may lead to new concepts and paths for developing novel preventive strategies and pharmacological treatment options for diabetes and AD. This study may aid in future for the identification of a single or a panel of likely blood-based viral biomarkers for early diagnosis of diabetes and AD with high sensitivity and specificity.


    Borna--a slow virus disease.

    Comp Immunol Microbiol Infect Dis 1978; 1 (1-2): 3-14


    Borna disease: virus-induced neurobehavioral disease pathogenesis.

    Curr Opin Microbiol 2001; 4 (4): 467-75

    Studies of the pathogenesis of neurobehavioral diseases following Borna disease virus infections have been increasing rapidly over the past ten years. Recent major advances have included a report of vertical transmission of the virus in its natural host, the horse, and a report of isolation of a novel variant, No/98, in that same species. In rats infected neonatally with the Borna disease virus that lack blood-borne inflammation in the brain, evidence of an "endogenous" brain inflammatory response is abundant, with elevated expression of cytokine and chemokine mRNA. Infection in these rats is also associated with abnormal levels of neurotransmitters, including serotonin and norepinephrine. Data and debate continue to be forthcoming about the role of Borna disease virus in human infection and psychiatric disease.


    Immunopathology and immunoprotection in CNS virus infections: mechanisms of virus clearance from the CNS.

    Curr Top Microbiol Immunol 2002; 265 (): 163-82


    Borna disease virus infection of adult and neonatal rats: models for neuropsychiatric disease.

    Curr Top Microbiol Immunol 2001; 253 (): 157-77

    Animal models provide unique opportunities to explore interactions between host and environment. Two models have been established based on Borna disease virus infection that provide new insights into mechanisms by which neurotropic agents and/or immune factors may impact developing or mature CNS circuitry to effect complex disturbances in movement and behavior. Note in press: Since this chapter was submitted, several manuscripts have been published that extend findings reported here and support the relevance of BDV infections of neonatal Lewis rats as models for investigating mechanisms of neurodevelopmental damage in autism. Behavioral abnormalities, including disturbed play behavior and chronic emotional overactivity, have been described by Pletnikov et al. (1999); inhibition of responses to novel stimuli were described by Hornig et al. (1999); loss of Purkinje cells following neonatal BDV infection has been demonstrated by Eisenman et al. (1999), Hornig et al. (1999), and Weissenbock et al. (2000); and alterations in cytokine gene expression have been reported by Hornig et al. (1999), Plata-Salaman et al. (1999) and Sauder et al. (1999).


    Mechanisms of virus-induced neuronal damage and the clearance of viruses from the CNS.

    Curr Top Microbiol Immunol 2001; 253 (): 145-55


    Interactions of viral proteins with neurotransmitter receptors may protect or destroy neurons.

    Curr Top Microbiol Immunol 2001; 253 (): 121-44


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