CNS cell populations are protected from virus-induced pathology by distinct arms of the immune system

Kristen M. Drescher, Paul D. Murray, Chella S. David, Larry R. Pease, Moses Rodriguez

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

23 Scopus citations


The basis for the distinct patterns of brain pathology in individuals experiencing virus-induced encephalitis may be related to either the tropism of the virus or the host's response to virus infection of the central nervous system (CNS). In these studies we used Theiler's murine encephalomyelitis virus (TMEV) and a series of mice deficient in various immune system components (α/β T cells, antibody, Class I MHC, and Class II MHC) to examine the hypothesis that discrete populations of CNS cells are protected differentially from virus infection by distinct arms of the immune response. Here we demonstrate that the Class I-mediated immune response provided more protection from areas of the brain (brainstem, corpus callosum and cerebellum) with abundant white matter as there was significantly more disease in these areas in β2m -/- (Class I-deficient) mice as compared to Aβ°(Class II-deficient) mice. In contrast, the striatum, with an abundance of neurons, was protected from virus-induced pathology primarily by antibody. In addition, we determined that antibody and α/β T cells provided protection from severe deficits and death during the acute phase of the disease. The data presented here support the hypothesis that distinct immune system components function to protect discrete areas of the CNS from virus- induced pathology.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)21-31
Number of pages11
JournalBrain Pathology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1999

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology
  • General Neuroscience
  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine


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