Viruses 2013, 5(9), 2106-2115; doi:10.3390/v5092106
Review

Varicella Zoster Virus (VZV)-Human Neuron Interaction

1 Departments of Neurology, University of Colorado School of Medicine, Aurora, CO 80045, USA 2 Departments of Microbiology, University of Colorado School of Medicine, Aurora, CO 80045, USA
* Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 15 July 2013; in revised form: 27 August 2013 / Accepted: 28 August 2013 / Published: 4 September 2013
PDF Full-text Download PDF Full-Text [656 KB, uploaded 4 September 2013 15:37 CEST]
Abstract: Varicella zoster virus (VZV) is a highly neurotropic, exclusively human herpesvirus. Primary infection causes varicella (chickenpox), wherein VZV replicates in multiple organs, particularly the skin. Widespread infection in vivo is confirmed by the ability of VZV to kill tissue culture cells in vitro derived from any organ. After varicella, VZV becomes latent in ganglionic neurons along the entire neuraxis. During latency, virus DNA replication stops, transcription is restricted, and no progeny virions are produced, indicating a unique virus-cell (neuron) relationship. VZV reactivation produces zoster (shingles), often complicated by serious neurological and ocular disorders. The molecular trigger(s) for reactivation, and thus the identity of a potential target to prevent it, remains unknown due to an incomplete understanding of the VZV-neuron interaction. While no in vitro system has yet recapitulated the findings in latently infected ganglia, recent studies show that VZV infection of human neurons in SCID mice and of human stem cells, including induced human pluripotent stem cells and normal human neural progenitor tissue-like assemblies, can be established in the absence of a cytopathic effect. Usefulness of these systems in discovering the mechanisms underlying reactivation awaits analyses of VZV-infected, highly pure (>90%), terminally differentiated human neurons capable of prolonged survival in vitro.
Keywords: varicella zoster virus; neurons; latency

Article Statistics

Load and display the download statistics.

Citations to this Article

Cite This Article

MDPI and ACS Style

Baird, N.L.; Yu, X.; Cohrs, R.J.; Gilden, D. Varicella Zoster Virus (VZV)-Human Neuron Interaction. Viruses 2013, 5, 2106-2115.

AMA Style

Baird NL, Yu X, Cohrs RJ, Gilden D. Varicella Zoster Virus (VZV)-Human Neuron Interaction. Viruses. 2013; 5(9):2106-2115.

Chicago/Turabian Style

Baird, Nicholas L.; Yu, Xiaoli; Cohrs, Randall J.; Gilden, Don. 2013. "Varicella Zoster Virus (VZV)-Human Neuron Interaction." Viruses 5, no. 9: 2106-2115.

Viruses EISSN 1999-4915 Published by MDPI AG, Basel, Switzerland RSS E-Mail Table of Contents Alert