Chronic neurologic disease in Theiler's virus infection of SJL/J mice

Howard L. Lipton*, Mauro C. Dal Canto

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

103 Scopus citations


This study demonstrates that most SJL/J mice inoculated intracerebrally (IC) with 1000 suckling mouse 50% mean lethal doses of Theiler's encephalomyelitis virus (TMEV) develop flaccid paralysis 10-21 days after infection when there is acute spinal cord gray matter involvement (early disease). Surviving mice later develop a distinctive chronic neurologic disorder which is associated with marked mononuclear cell infiltrates and active demyelination in spinal cord white matter (late disease). Moreover, about one-fourth of infected animals only develop signs of late disease which may begin after an incubation period as long as 2 and a half months. Affected mice are less active, incontinent, and have a waddling, spastic gait. Minimal stimulation induces prolonged extensor spasms of all limbs. These late-developing manifestations of chronic TMEV infection are progressive and clinical remissions have not been observed. The effect of persistent CNS infection on general development was monitored by weekly measurement of body weight; however, the growth of chronically-infected mice was found to parallel that of control animals.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)201-207
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of the Neurological Sciences
Issue number1
StatePublished - Nov 1976
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neurology
  • Clinical Neurology


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