Viral Encephalitis and Neurologic Diseases: Focus on Astrocytes

Allison Soung, Robyn S. Klein

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

53 Scopus citations


Neurotropic RNA virus infections cause a major neurological disease burden. Due to the morbidity and mortality rates of viral encephalitides worldwide, there is a need to develop clinical treatments. Features of the central nervous system (CNS), including interconnected cell types and limited regeneration, provide unique challenges. Viral encephalitis and antiviral immunity can disrupt the CNS environment, leaving patients with poor neurological outcomes despite virologic control. The cellular mechanism(s) underlying neurological recovery are not fully understood, but involve neuroimmune interactions that, until recently, primarily focused on microglia. With increasing evidence that astrocytes also have significant roles in inflammatory responses to viruses, here we summarize recent astrocyte contributions to acute virologic control and neurological impairments during recovery from viral infection.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)950-962
Number of pages13
JournalTrends in Molecular Medicine
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 2018


  • RNA virus
  • astrocyte
  • blood–brain barrier
  • microglia
  • neuroinflammation
  • viral encephalitis


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