Venezuelan equine encephalitis virus (VEEV) is an encephalitic alphavirus responsible for epidemics of neurological disease across the Americas. Low-density lipoprotein receptor class A domain-containing 3 (LDLRAD3) is a recently reported entry receptor for VEEV. Here, using wild-type and Ldlrad3-deficient mice, we define a critical role for LDLRAD3 in controlling steps in VEEV infection, pathogenesis, and neurotropism. Our analysis shows that LDLRAD3 is required for efficient VEEV infection and pathogenesis prior to and after central nervous system invasion. Ldlrad3-deficient mice survive intranasal and intracranial VEEV inoculation and show reduced infection of neurons in different brain regions. As LDLRAD3 is a determinant of pathogenesis and an entry receptor required for VEEV infection of neurons of the brain, receptor-targeted therapies may hold promise as countermeasures.
- CP: Microbiology
- alphavirus, pathogenesis, receptor, tropism, brain, mice, animal model, infection, neuron