It has been recognized that viruses can induce neuronal damage by a variety of mechanisms. This volume summarizes, for the first time, the various ways that neurons can degenerate under the influence of viral infection, ranging from acute necrosis and virus-induced apoptosis to chronic damage in persistent infections. The mechanisms of neuronal latency are dealt with as well. The volume also includes chapters that review the chronic damage caused by viral proteins that interfere with differentiated functions of the neuron, including signaling by neurotransmitters and signal transduction by trophic factors. Other chapters deal with the controversial role of cellular immune reactions, which may be helpful in controlling infection, but may also be detrimental to the host nervous system. The specific mechanisms of damage involved in retroviral infections and in prion diseases of the nervous system are reviewed, and finally how autoimmune diseases can lead to neuronal damage.
The Concept of Neurotropism and Selective Vulnerability ('Pathoclisis') in Virus Infections of the Nervous System.-The Mechanism of Direct,Virus-Induced Destruction of Neurons.-Slow and Persistent Virus Infections of Neurons -- A Compromise for Neuronal Survival.- Neuronal Latency in Human and Animal Herpesvirus Infections. -Programmed Cell Death (Apoptosis) in Virus Infections of the Nervous System.-Interactions of Viral Proteins with Neurotransmitter Receptors May Protect or Destroy Neurons.- Mechanisms of Virus-Induced Neuronal Damage and the Clearance of Viruses from the CNS.-Borna Disease Virus Infection of Adult and Neonatal Rats: Models for Neuropsychiatric Disease.-The Mechanisms of Neuronal Damage in Retrovirus Infections of the Nervous System.-Prion-Induced Neuronal Damage -- The Mechanisms of Neuronal Destruction in the Subacture Spongiform Encephalopathies.- The Role of T-Cell Mediated Mechanisms in Virus Infections of the Nervous System.-Virus- Induced Inflammatory Reaction in the Nervous System: Self-Defence or Systematic Self-Destruction.-Virus- Induced Autoimmune Reactions in the Nervous System.