Certain viruses can cause inflammation of the meninges or even the entire brain, so-called viral encephalitis. In addition to the rabies virus and the West Nile virus, these also include the vesicular stomatitis virus (VSV) in the mouse model. The immune cells needed to fight the infection must first reach the brain from the periphery of the body. To do this, the immune system produces messenger substances as attractants. Scientists from the Institute for Experimental Infection Research at TWINCORE have now been able to show that this signalling chain in the VSV infection has its starting point in the infected nerve cells themselves.
How immune cells are lured to the brain in encephalitis