Experimental Measles Encephalomyelitis in the Rat: Generation of Measles Virus (MV) and T-Lymphocyte Cell Lines Specific for Myelin Basic Protein (MBP)
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The pathogenetic mechanisms involved in human measles encephalitits are poorly understood. Circumstantial evidence suggests an autoimmune pathogenesis for measles encephalitis in man (3,4). In order to analyse this aspect, an experimental model has been established in the Lewis rat, an animal species in which autoimmune reactions can be induced (2,8). A subacute measles encephalomyelitis (SAME) occurs after intracerebral inoculation with measles virus (MV) (5). The disease is char-acterized clinically by seizures, weight loss, unsteadiness, various degrees of paresis, and neuropathologically by prominent lymphomonocytic perivascular infiltration of the grey and white matter of the entire central nervous System (CNS) with resemblance to experimental allergic encephalitis, but demyelination is not apparent. Infectious measles virus cannot be recovered from animals with SAME. Molecular characterization of the measles virus persistence in brain cells of SAME rats has indicated restriction of the expression of the measlesvirus-envelope genes, as in subacute sclerosing panencephalitis (1). After recovery from clinical disease, animals reveal histologically either persisting inflammatory lesions or residual changes indicative of a preceding encephalitis.
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