One hypothesis for the etiology of behavioral disorders is that infection by a virus induces neuronal cell dysfunctions resulting in a wide range of behavioral abnormalities. However, a direct linkage between viral infections and neurobehavioral disturbances associated with human psychiatric disorders has not been identified. Here, we show that transgenic mice expressing the phosphoprotein (P) of Borna disease virus (BDV) in glial cells develop behavioral abnormalities, such as enhanced intermale aggressiveness, hyperactivity, and spatial reference memory deficit. We demonstrate that the transgenic brains exhibit a significant reduction in brain-derived neurotrophic factor and serotonin receptor expression, as well as a marked decrease in synaptic density. These results demonstrate that glial expression of BDV P leads to behavioral and neurobiological disturbances resembling those in BDV-infected animals. Furthermore, the lack of reactive astrocytosis and neuronal degeneration in the brains indicates that P can directly induce glial cell dysfunction and also suggests that the transgenic mice may exhibit neuropathological and neurophysiological abnormalities resembling those of psychiatric patients. Our results provide a new insight to explore the relationship between viral infections and neurobehavioral disorders.
|Number of pages||6|
|Journal||Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America|
|Publication status||Published - Jul 22 2003|
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes