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A Peptide Link Between Human Cytomegalovirus Infection, NeuronalMigration, and Psychosis

  • Alongside biological, psychological, and social risk factors, psychotic syndromes may berelated to disturbances of neuronal migration. This highly complex process characterizesthe developing brain of the fetus, the early postnatal brain, and the adult brain, as reflectedby changes within the subventricular zone and the dentate gyrus of the hippocampus,where neurogenesis persists throughout life. Psychosis also appears to be linked tohuman cytomegalovirus (HCMV) infection. However, little is known about the connectionbetween psychosis, HCMV infection, and disruption of neuronal migration. The presentstudy addresses the hypothesis that HCMV infection may lead to mental disordersthrough mechanisms of autoimmune cross-reactivity. Searching for common peptidesthat underlie immune cross-reactions, the analyses focus on HCMV and human proteinsinvolved in neuronal migration. Results demonstrate a large overlap of viral peptides withhuman proteins associated with neuronal migration, such as ventral anterior homeobox 1and cell adhesion molecule 1 implicated in GABAergic and glutamatergicneurotransmission. The presentfindings support the possibility of immune cross-reactivity between HCMV and human proteins that—when altered, mutated, orimproperly functioning—may disrupt normal neuronal migration. In addition, thesefindings are consistent with a molecular and mechanistic framework for pathologicalsequences of events, beginning with HCMV infection, followed by immune activation,cross-reactivity, and neuronal protein variations that may ultimately contribute to theemergence of mental disorders, including psychosis

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Author: Guglielmo LuccheseORCiD, Agnes Flöel, Benjamin Stahl
Parent Title (English):frontiers in psychiatry
Place of publication:Lausanne
Document Type:Article
Date of first Publication:2020/05/08
Release Date:2021/03/10
Tag:HCMV; cross-reactivity; immune response; peptide sharing; schizophrenia
Article Number:349
Page Number:8
Faculties:Universitätsmedizin / Klinik und Poliklinik für Neurologie
Collections:Artikel aus DFG-gefördertem Publikationsfonds
Licence (German):License LogoCreative Commons - Namensnennung