Long distance signals protect brain from viral infections

The research explains a long-standing mystery. The olfactory mucosa
in the nose can serve as a conduit for a number of viruses to enter the
brain including rabies, polio and influenza viruses.
Yet infections in the central nervous system rarely occur. The
mechanism responsible for protecting the brain from viruses that
successfully invade the olfactory bulb , the first site of infection in nasal mucosa, remains elusive.

Van den Pol and his colleagues have discovered that, in response to
viral infection, cells in the olfactory bulb release long-distance
signaling molecules that tell cells in uninfected parts of the brain to
produce anti-viral interferon, a first line of defense against invading

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