Coxsackievirus B 1-induced polymyositis. Lack of disease expression in nu/nu mice.

S. R. Ytterberg, M. L. Mahowald, R. P. Messner

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27 Scopus citations


Chronic inflammatory myositis similar to human polymyositis occurs in mice after infection with a strain of Coxsackievirus B 1 (CVB 1). To investigate the role of T cells in the pathogenesis of this disorder, we compared disease expression in T cell-deficient athymic nude (nu/nu) mice and heterozygotes (nu/+) with normal T cell function. Acute infectious myositis occurred in nu/nu and nu/+ mice. Chronic (greater than 21 d postinfection) weakness and myositis, however, developed only in nu/+. Resistance to disease in nu/nu mice was not explained by insusceptibility to infection; the amount of virus lethal for 50% of mice and virus replication were comparable in both groups. Additionally, anti-CVB 1 antibody production was similar in both groups. Reconstitution of infected nu/nu mice with spleen cells from normal mice resulted in disease. These results demonstrate that chronic weakness after infection with this virus is not simply a sequela of acute myonecrosis and suggest that T cells play a pivotal role in the pathogenesis of chronic myositis.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)499-506
Number of pages8
JournalThe Journal of clinical investigation
Issue number2
StatePublished - Aug 1987

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)


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