Neuroinvasion and cognitive impairment in comorbid alcohol dependence and chronic viral infection: An initial investigation

Jennifer Loftis, Jonathan Taylor, Rebekah Hudson, Evan J. Firsick

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Viruses that invade the central nervous system (CNS) can cause neuropsychiatric impairments. Similarly, chronic alcohol exposure can induce inflammatory responses that alter brain function. However, the effects of a chronic viral infection and comorbid alcohol use on neuroinflammation and behavior are not well-defined. We investigated the role of heavy alcohol intake in regulating inflammatory responses and behavioral signs of cognitive impairments in mice infected with lymphocytic choriomeningitis virus (LCMV) clone 13. LCMV-infected mice exposed to alcohol had increased peripheral inflammation and impaired cognitive function (as indicated by performance on the novel object recognition test). Initial findings suggest that brain region-specific dysregulation of microglial response to viral infection may contribute to cognitive impairments in the context of heavy alcohol use.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number577006
JournalJournal of Neuroimmunology
StatePublished - Oct 15 2019



  • Alcohol use disorder
  • Blood brain barrier
  • Cognition
  • Gila
  • Inflammation
  • Lymphocytic choriomeningitis virus clone 13

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Immunology
  • Neurology
  • Clinical Neurology

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