A tumor necrosis factor-induced model of human primary demyelinating diseases develops in immunodeficient mice

Eur J Immunol. 1999 Mar;29(3):912-7. doi: 10.1002/(SICI)1521-4141(199903)29:03<912::AID-IMMU912>3.0.CO;2-G.


We have reported previously that in the central nervous system (CNS) local expression of tumor necrosis factor (TNF) transgenes can trigger the development of oligodendrocyte apoptosis, primary inflammatory demyelination and neurological dysfunction, accompanied by lymphocyte and macrophage infiltration into the CNS. To distinguish between the local effects of transgene-encoded TNF and the potential encephalitogenic effects of immune infiltrates upon CNS disease pathogenesis, we have backcrossed Tg6074 TNF-transgenic mice to mice deficient in CD4, beta2-microglobulin (beta2m), immunoglobulin mu chain (Igmu) or recombination activation gene-1 (Rag-1). TNF was capable of triggering undiminished primary demyelination in all of the immunodeficient mice, in the presence of activated cells of the macrophage/microglial lineage. We conclude that TNF is sufficient to induce primary inflammatory demyelination and neurological deficits even in the absence of adaptive immunity.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • B-Lymphocytes / immunology
  • CD4 Antigens / genetics
  • CD4 Antigens / immunology*
  • Demyelinating Diseases / immunology*
  • Female
  • Homeodomain Proteins / genetics
  • Homeodomain Proteins / immunology*
  • Humans
  • Immunoglobulin mu-Chains / genetics
  • Immunoglobulin mu-Chains / immunology*
  • Male
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred C57BL
  • Mice, Inbred CBA
  • Mice, Knockout
  • Mice, Transgenic
  • Models, Immunological*
  • T-Lymphocytes / immunology
  • Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha / genetics
  • Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha / immunology*
  • beta 2-Microglobulin / genetics
  • beta 2-Microglobulin / immunology*


  • CD4 Antigens
  • Homeodomain Proteins
  • Immunoglobulin mu-Chains
  • Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha
  • beta 2-Microglobulin
  • RAG-1 protein