Demyelination Induced by Murine Coronavirus JHM Infection of Congenitally Immunodeficient Mice

  • J. J. Houtman
  • H. C. Hinze
  • J. O. Fleming
Part of the Advances in Experimental Medicine and Biology book series (AEMB, volume 380)


Mouse hepatitis virus JHM (JHMV or MHV-4) induces demyelination in rodents and has been studied as a model for the human disease, multiple sclerosis (MS). As is proposed in MS, the mechanism of subacute demyelination induced by JHMV appears to be primarily immunopathological, since demyelination in JHMV-infected mice is abrogated by immunosuppressive doses of irradiation and restored by adoptive transfer of splenocytes. Thy-1+ cells play a critical role in transmitting disease to these recipient mice. To further characterize cells which may mediate JHMV-induced immunopathology, we inoculated congenitally immunodeficient mice with JHMV. By 12 days post-inoculation, both immunocompetent C57BL/6J controls and athymic nude C57BL/6 mice had severe paralysis and demyelination. In marked contrast, C57BL/6 mice with the severe combined immune deficiency (SCID) mutation had little or no paralysis or demyelination. Adoptive transfer of immune spleen cells from nude mice to infected SCID mice produced paralysis and demyelination. These findings suggest that a cell population present in immunocompetent C57BL/6J and nude mice but absent or non-functional in irradiated and SCID mice is essential for JHMV-induced demyelination. Identification of cells which mediate demyelination in this experimental system may have implications for our understanding of coronavirus pathogenesis and human demyelinating diseases.


Multiple Sclerosis Nude Mouse Adoptive Transfer Immunodeficient Mouse Athymic Nude Mouse 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1995

Authors and Affiliations

  • J. J. Houtman
    • 1
  • H. C. Hinze
    • 1
  • J. O. Fleming
    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
  1. 1.Departments of Medical Microbiology and ImmunologyUSA
  2. 2.Department of NeurologyUniversity of Wisconsin School of MedicineUSA
  3. 3.William S. Middleton Memorial Veterans HospitalMadisonUSA

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