Abstract: Cultured neurons from rat dorsal root ganglia and cerebral cortex were infected with Sendai virus, which gives a productive replication with lysis of most neurons, and with the RW strain of mumps virus, which undergoes defective replication causing degeneration of only 30–40% of the neurons within 5 days after initial infection. In Sendai virus-infected cells the amount of polyisoprenoid lipids was enhanced. In mumps virus-infected cultures there were transient reductions in the contents of cholesterol, dolichol, and ubiquinone-9 in the cultures, whereas the reduction in the ubiquinone-10 level was progressive, reaching 20% of its original value 21 days after infection. Treatment of mumps virus-infected cultures with ubiquinone-10 protected the neurons from degeneration, whereas no effects were observed on exposure to ubiquinone-9. Linolenic acid (18:3) and arachidonic acid (20:4), but not myristic acid (14:0) and palmitic acid (16:0), also had significant neuroprotective effects.