Spatial learning and memory impaired after infection of non-neurotropic influenza virus in BALB/c male mice

During the influenza pandemic or seasonal influenza outbreak, influenza infection can cause acute influenza-associated encephalopathy/encephalitis (IAE), even death. Patients with severe IAE will also have severe neurological sequelae. Neurologic disorders have been demonstrated in the mice treated with peripheral influenza viruses infection, whether neurotropic or non-neurotropic viruses. However, previous studies focused on the acute phase of infection, and rarely paid attention to a longer range of observations. Therefore, the long-term effect of non-neurotropic virus infection on the host is not very clear. In this study, adult mice were infected with influenza virus H1N1/PR8. Then, spontaneous behavior, body weight, expression of cytokines in brain, spatial learning ability and spatial memory ability were observed, until the complete recovery period. The results showed that cytokines in the brain were highly expressed in the convalescent phase (14 day post inoculation, dpi), especially BDNF, IBA1, CX3CL1 and CD200 were still highly expressed in the recovery phase (28 dpi). Otherwise the emotional and spatial memory ability of mice were impacted in the convalescent phase (14 dpi) and the recovery phase (28 dpi). In brief, BALB/c mice infected with non-neurotropic influenza virus H1N1, the weight and motor ability decreased in acute stage. During the recovery period, the body weight and activity ability were completely restored, whereas the emotion disordered, and the ability of spatial learning and memory were impacted in the infected mice. This long-term behavior impact may be the lag injury caused by non-neurotropic influenza infection.