Role of Astrocytes in Viral Infections (pp.109-124)
Authors: (Cecilia Bender, Jesica Frik and Ricardo M. Gomez, Graduate School for Life and Health Sciences, University of Verona, Italy and others)
Abstract: Viral encephalitis is most commonly caused by neurotropic herpesviruses, enteroviruses, arboviruses, paramyxoviruses, rhabdoviruses and retroviruses. Astrocytes are a major cell population of the central nervous system (CNS) and play multiple roles in CNS development, function and responses to injury. Reactive astrocytes or astrogliosis is prominent in most CNS infections. Together with activated microglia, they play major roles in inflammatory and immune responses during viral infection. Activated astrocytes express toll-like receptors crucial for the induction of innate immune responses, including the secretion of chemokines or cytokines in response to virus agents. Astrocytes also express class II major histocompatibility complex antigens, but its role as an antigen-presenting cell is still controversial. Both protective and detrimental roles have been assigned to astrogliosis during viral infections. This chapter will summarize the role of astrocytes in CNS viral infections.
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