Restraint Induces Sickness Responses Independent of Injection with Epstein-Barr Virus (EBV)-Encoded dUTPase


Most adult humans have been infected by Epstein-Barr virus (EBV), a putative cause of chronic fatigue syndrome, and carry latent EBV. The EBV-encoded dUTPase can induce sickness responses in mice and chronic stress exacerbates this response. Because individuals often adapt to chronic stress, we tested the hypothesis that acute restraint stress would potentiate these sickness responses elicited by EBV-encoded dUTPase. Male CD-1 mice were injected daily for one or three days with either saline or EBV-encoded dUTPase. Additionally, mice from each condition were either restrained for three hours daily or left undisturbed during the light phase when mice are inactive. Restraint decreased weight gain during the one- and three-day experiments. Restraint in saline injected mice increased anxiety-like behavior in the open field during the three-day experiment. There were no behavioral differences during the one-day experiment. Restraint stress had no effect when experienced acutely on one day, but did produce a sickness response after three days of exposure regardless of saline or dUTPase injection. In contrast to the effects of chronic stress and EBV-encoded dUTPase on the sickness response, acute stress did not affect sickness responses in association with EBV-encoded dUTPase. Thus, dUTPase does not appear to provoke the same sickness responses after acute stress as compared to chronic stress.

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Aubrecht, T. , Salloum, B. , Ariza, M. , Williams, M. , Reader, B. , Glaser, R. , Sheridan, J. and Nelson, R. (2014) Restraint Induces Sickness Responses Independent of Injection with Epstein-Barr Virus (EBV)-Encoded dUTPase. Journal of Behavioral and Brain Science, 4, 491-505. doi: 10.4236/jbbs.2014.411049.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


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