Neurotropism is a distinctive feature of members of the Alphaherpesvirinae. However, its molecular basis remains enigmatic. In the past, research has been focused mainly on the role of viral envelope proteins in modulating herpesvirus neuroinvasion and neurovirulence (T. C. Mettenleiter, Virus Res. 92:192-206, 2003). To further analyze the molecular requirements for neuroinvasion of the alphaherpesvirus pseudorabies virus (PrV), adult mice were infected intranasally with a set of single- or multiple-deletion mutants lacking the UL3, UL4, UL7, UL11, UL13, UL16, UL17, UL21, UL31, UL34, UL37, UL41, UL43, UL46, UL47, UL48, UL51, US3, US9, glycoprotein E (gE), gM, UL11/US9, UL11/UL16, UL16/UL21, UL11/UL16/UL21, UL11/gE, UL11/gM, UL43/gK, UL43/gM, or UL43/gK/gM genes. Neurovirulence was evaluated by measuring mean survival times compared to that after wild-type virus infection. Furthermore, by immunohistochemical detection of infected neurons, the kinetics of viral spread in the murine central nervous system was investigated.