The function and physiology of the central nervous system (CNS) can be affected by of bacterial, fungal, protozoan, and viral infections. The neurological effects of viruses are associated with direct infections of structures of the CNS, the migration of infected leukocytes to the CNS, or/and the immune response to control the infection. In all these situations, we have reactive oxygen species (ROS) generation. ROS induces several cellular effects, including cell cycle progression, apoptosis, DNA damage, senescence, and neurodegeneration. The control of ROS involves the glutathione (GSH) balance, owing to antioxidant activity. Moreover, GSH is related with the transport of endogenous/exogenous molecules to extracellular medium by ABCC1/MRP1 activity. The depletion of GSH levels characterizes viral infections and associated-disease progression. Many studies correlated the GSH levels with immune response and suggest adding the glutathione replenishment to highly active antiviral treatment. Thus, it is important to review the relationship between the CNS, immune response, and GSH levels during neurological viral diseases.
Part of the book: Glutathione in Health and Disease