Key words Murine encephalomyelitis virus
Springer Online Journal Archives 1860-2000
Abstract Theiler’s murine encephalomyelitis viruses (TMEV) are divided into two subgroups on the basis of their different biological activities. The GDVII strain produces acute polioencephalomyelitis in mice, whereas the DA strain produces demyelination with virus persistence in the spinal cord. A comparative study of GDVII and DA strains suggested that low host immune responses are responsible for the development of acute GDVII infection and that the persistence of infected macrophages plays a crucial role in the development of chronic white matter lesions in DA infection. All 78 mice infected with GDVII died or became moribund by day 13, while none of 54 mice infected with DA died. In the acute stage, the distribution of viral antigens in the central nervous system (CNS) tissue was similar in both GDVII and DA infections, although the virus titer was higher in GDVII infection. In DA infection, a substantial number of T cells were recruited to the CNS on day 6 when they were virtually absent in GDVII infection. The titer of neutralizing antibody was already high on day 6 in DA infection but was negligible in GDVII infection. Development of chronic paralytic disease from day 35 of the DA infection was accompanied by focal accumulation of viral antigen-positive macrophages in the spinal white matter. In addition, white matter lesions comparable to those in chronic DA infection were induced in the spinal cord within 7 days after intracerebral injection of DA-infected murine macrophages.
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