This chapter analyzes the specific ways that aging, viral infection, genetic factors, and immune deficiency act together to predispose mice to paralytic disease using an age-dependent motor neuron disease in C58 mice as an experimental model. Lactic dehydrogenase virus (LDV) is widespread in both domestic and wild mice and causes life-long infection. Immune complexes typically are found in the plasma of infected mice. LDV does not cause significant pathologic changes in the tissues of infected mice under ordinary circumstances. The properties of LDV are summarized in the chapter. LDV derived from line Ib transplantable leukemia causes a fatal inflammatory motor neuron disease when inoculated into C58 mice that are 9 or more month of age, and in younger C58 mice, providing that they are immunosuppressed first by X-irradiation or drugs. LDV strains differ markedly in their neuropathogenicity ranging from those that are highly paralytic to those that cause inapparent infection.
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