Theiler's murine encephalitis virus (TMEV) produces an unusual biphasic disease in susceptible mice characterized by poliomyelitis with early viral replication in neurons, followed by chronic demyelination with viral antigen expression in spinal cord white matter. In addition, infectious virus persists in the central nervous system (CNS) throughout the chronic pahse of disease. Previous studies have indicated an important role for major histocompatibility complex (MHC)-gene products in determining resistance/susceptibility to disease. In particular, certain calss I gene products of the D region of the H-2 gene complex render mice of the C57BL lineage resistant to induction of demyelination. Intracerebral infection of B10.S(DS) mice results in demyelination in the spinal cord while infection of C57BL/10(Db) or with gamma irradiation renders normally resistant B10.S(9R) and C57BL/10 mice susceptible to TMEV-induced demyelination and allowed for increased viral replication. In addition, the majority of irradiated C57BL/10 mice infected with virus showed extensive areas of CNS remyelination by oligodendrocytes beginning at 63 days post-infection. In contrast, immunosuppression of normally susceptible B10.S mice resulted in acute disease and high mortality accompanied by overwhelming destruction of neurons. The study supports the hypothesis that MHC-conferred resistance in C57L mice is associated MHC D region products and indicate an important active role for the immune system early in infection in limiting vital infection during disease induction in nonimmunosuppressed mice.
- Major histocompatibility complex
- Virus infection
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Immunology and Allergy
- Clinical Neurology