NMDA-Receptor Antagonist Prevents Measles Virus-induced Neurodegeneration

Authors

  • Tommy Andersson,

    Corresponding author
    1. Department of Pathology (Division of Cellular and Neuropathology), Karolinska Institutet, Huddinge Hospital, S-141 86 Huddinge, Sweden
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  • Marianne Schultzberg,

    1. Department of Pathology (Division of Cellular and Neuropathology), Karolinska Institutet, Huddinge Hospital, S-141 86 Huddinge, Sweden
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  • Robert Schwarcz,

    1. Maryland Psychiatric Research Center, Department of Psychiatry, University of Maryland School of Medicine, P.O. Box 21247, Baltimore, MD 21228, USA
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  • Arthur Löve,

    1. Department of Medical Virology, School of Medicine, University of Iceland, Armuli 1a, P.O. Box 8733, 128 Reykjavik, Iceland
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  • Charlotte Wickman,

    1. Department of Pathology (Division of Cellular and Neuropathology), Karolinska Institutet, Huddinge Hospital, S-141 86 Huddinge, Sweden
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  • Krister Kristensson

    1. Department of Pathology (Division of Cellular and Neuropathology), Karolinska Institutet, Huddinge Hospital, S-141 86 Huddinge, Sweden
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Dr Tommy Andersson, as above

Abstract

N-methyl-d-aspartate (NMDA) receptors represent a major subtype of excitatory amino acid receptors in the mammalian brain. In addition to their physiological role, NMDA receptors have been linked to the occurrence of nerve cell death in several neurodegenerataive diseases. The hamster neurotropic (HNT) strain of measles virus causes non-inflammatory encephalopathy in mice. This is associated with neuronal loss in areas CA1 and CA3 of the hippocampus. Systemic treatment with the non-competitive NMDA receptor antagonist 5-methyl-10,11-dihydro-5H-dibenzo(a,d)cyclo-hepten-5,10-imine maleate (MK-801) prevented this cellular necrosis. Thus, a virus may have indirect neurodegenerative effects in the brain due to activation of NMDA receptors.

Ancillary