Olfactory neural pathway in mouse hepatitis virus nasoencephalitis

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46 Scopus citations


The mechanism of brain infection with mouse hepatitis virus-JHM was studied in BALB/cByJ mice following intranasal inoculation, and found to be a consequence of direct viral spread along olfactory nerves into olfactory bulbs of the brain. Infection was followed sequentially from nose to brain, using microscopy, immunohistochemistry and virus quantification. Lesions, antigen and virus were observed in the olfactory bulb and anterior brain as early as 2 days and posterior brain by 4 days after inoculation. Viral antigen extended through nasal mucosa into submucosa, then coursed along the olfactory nerve perineurium and fibers, through the cribriform plate into the olfactory bulbs. On days 4 and 7, viral antigen was found in the antero-ventral brain, along ventral meninges, olfactory tracts and anterior ramifications of the lateral ventricles. Virus was cleared from nose by 10 days and anterior brain by 20 days, but persisted in posterior brain for 20 days after inoculation. Mice also developed disseminated infection, with viremia and hepatitis. Infection of brain did not correlate with presence of viremia. In contrast to intranasally inoculated mice, orally-inoculated mice did not develop encephalitis, despite evidence of disseminated infection.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)502-506
Number of pages5
JournalActa Neuropathologica
Issue number5
StatePublished - Sep 1988
Externally publishedYes


  • Brain
  • Mouse hepatitis virus
  • Nose

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)
  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine
  • Clinical Neurology


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