Antibody response is required for protection from Theiler's virus-induced encephalitis in C57BL/6 mice in the absence of CD8+ T cells

Bong Su Kang, Joann P. Palma, Michael A. Lyman, Mauro Dal Canto, Byung S. Kim*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Scopus citations


Intracerebral infection of susceptible mice with Theiler's murine encephalomyelitis virus (TMEV) induces immune-mediated demyelinating disease and this system serves as a relevant infectious model for human multiple sclerosis. It was previously shown that β2M-deficient C57BL/6 mice lacking functional CD8+ T cells display increased viral persistence and enhanced susceptibility to TMEV-induced demyelination, and yet the majority of mice are free of clinical signs. To understand the mechanisms involved in this general resistance of C57BL/6 mice in the absence of CTL responses, mice (μMT) deficient in the B-cell compartment lacking membrane IgM molecules were treated with anti-CD8 antibody and then infected with TMEV. Although little difference in the proliferative responses of peripheral T cells to UV-inactivated TMEV and the resistance to demyelinating disease was observed between virus-infected μMT and control B6 mice, the levels of CD4+ T cells were higher in the CNS of μMT mice. However, after treatment with anti-CD8 antibody, 100% of the mice displayed clinical gray matter disease and prolonged viral persistence in μMT mice, while only 10% of B6 mice showed clinical symptoms and very low viral persistence. Transfusion of sera from TMEV-infected B6 mice into anti-CD8 antibody-treated μMT mice partially restored resistance to virus-induced encephalitis. These results indicate that the early anti-viral antibody response is also important in the protection from TMEV-induced encephalitis particularly in the absence of CD8+ T cells.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)84-94
Number of pages11
Issue number1
StatePublished - Sep 15 2005


  • Antibody
  • CD8 T cells
  • Encephalitis
  • Protection
  • Theiler's virus

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Virology


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