Antigens to viral capsid and non-capsid proteins are present in brain tissues and antibodies in sera of Theiler's virus-infected mice

K. Cameron, X. Zhang, B. Seal, M. Rodriguez, M. K. Njenga

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Recombinant proteins to the LP, VP1, VP2, VP3, VP4, 2A, 2B, 2C, 3A, and 3D genes of Theiler's murine encephalomyelitis virus (TMEV) were generated and antibodies were produced against them for use in analysis of the TMEV epitopes responsible for eliciting the antibody responses observed during acute and chronic disease. Antibodies against recombinant VP1, VP2, and VP3 recognized the corresponding proteins from purified TMEV particles. In immunohistochemical analysis, antibodies against recombinant capsid (VP1, VP2, and VP3), and non-capsid (2A, 2C, 3A) proteins were reactive with PO-2D cells (astrocytes) infected with TMEV in vitro and with brain tissues of acutely infected mice. Antibodies against VP4, 2B, and 3D antigens were not reactive with corresponding viral proteins in infected astrocytes cells or brain tissues, but they reacted with TMEV precursor proteins produced during the early viral replication phase. Sera from SJL/J mice infected with TMEV acutely (14 days) and chronically (45 days) reacted with VP1, VP2, VP4, 2A, and 2C proteins. In an in vitro assay for neutralization, only anti-VP1 antibodies neutralized TMEV infection. These findings suggest that both capsid and non-capsid proteins of TMEV play a role in the immunopathology of the TMEV disease in the central nervous system.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)11-19
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Virological Methods
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2001



  • Antibody
  • Encephalitis
  • Recombinant proteins
  • Theiler's murine encephalomyelitis virus

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Virology

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