Despite the fact that both H-2K and D molecules are up-regulated in the central nervous system (CNS) following Theiler's murine encephalomyelitis virus (TMEV) infection, resistance in this virus model of multiple sclerosis maps exclusively to D. To address this paradox, we examined the ability of the K and D molecules to present viral antigens to cytotoxic T lymphocytes (CTL). Whereas no virus-specific CTL were detected in the CNS of susceptible B10.Q and B10.S mice 7 days post-infection, D-restricted CTL were identified readily in the CNS of resistant B10 animals. There was no evidence of K-restricted CTL in the CNS of B10 mice at day 7 post-infection. The presence of both K- and D-restricted virus-specific CTL in the spleen of immunized B10 mice demonstrates that the exclusive use of D molecules by CTL in the CNS of mice 7 days post-infection is not due to the inability of the K molecules to present viral peptides to lymphocytes. We conclude that the prominent role of the D locus in determining resistance or susceptibility to TMEV-induced demyelination is determined by factors governing the regulation of the immune response, and not by the presence or absence of CTL precursors capable of recognizing viral peptides presented by the K and D antigen-presenting molecules, or by differences in the ability of the K and D molecules to present viral peptides.
- Central nervous system
- Cytotoxic T lymphocyte
- Major histocompatibility complex
- Multiple sclerosis
ASJC Scopus subject areas