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Virus-induced neuronal degeneration in the CNS

Viral infection of the brain can cause neuronal damage and some viruses are believed to be related to human neurological diseases. Infection of several mammalian species with the neurotropic Borna Disease Virus can lead to motor deficits and a cell type specific neuronal loss in the hippocampus and in the cerebellum. This selective cell death in the hippocampus can be mimicked by infection of slice cultures.

The goal of our research is to record early steps of virus-mediated neuronal damage, to determine molecular factors contributing to this pathology and to elucidate the cellular properties responsible that a neuronal cell type undergoes death while others, although similarly infected, survive.

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