Role of natural killer cells as immune effectors in encephalitis and demyelination induced by Theiler's virus

C. V. Paya, A. K. Patick, P. J. Leibson, M. Rodriguez

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

70 Scopus citations

Abstract

Infection of susceptible mice (SJL) with Theiler's murine encephalitis virus (TMEV) causes a biphasic disease characterized by gray matter inflammation followed by late chronic demyelination. The role of NK cells was studied in this model by using susceptibile (SJL) or resistant (C57BL/10) mice. CNS TMEV titer were higher in SJL compared with C57BL/10 mice, correlating with a 50% lower NK cell activity in the SJL than in the C57BL/10 mice. When resistant (C57BL/10) mice were depleted of NK cells using either mAb NK1.1 or polyclonal anti-asialo-GM1, TMEV induced the development of diffuse encephalitis and meningitis early in the postinfection period (days 6 to 11). However, the second phase of TMEV-induced CNS disease (demyelination) was observed only in resistant C57BL/10 mice treated with antiasialo-GM1. Experiments with beige/beige mice of C57BL/10 background showed a mild degree of gray matter inflammation but no demyelination. In conclusion, NK cells are critical effectors in protecting against TMEV-induced gray matter disease, whereas a different population of either NK1.1- NK cells, or other activated lymphocytes may be critical in resistance/susceptibility to demyelination.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)95-102
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Immunology
Volume143
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1989

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Immunology

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