DBA/2 CrSlc mice infected with the D variant of encephalomyocarditis virus (EMC-D) (10 PFU/head) developed biphasic hind limb paralysis due to spinal cord lesion. The early phase lesion was characterized by demyelination with infiltration of macrophages in the funiculus lateraris and the late phase lesion by degeneration of motor neurons with infiltration of CD4(+) T cells in the cornu ventrale. In the present study, treatment with anti-Mac1 monoclonal antibody (MAb) or anti-CD4 MAb prior to virus infection (-3 to -1 days) reduced the early phase lesion and the incidence of the first paralysis. Signals of viral RNAs were observed only in a few oligodendrocytes in the funiculus lateraris. Treatment with anti-CD4 MAb from 31 to 33 days post infection when mice showed recovery from the first paralysis reduced the late phase lesion and prevented the second paralysis. Signals of viral RNAs were still detected in a few degenerated neurons in the cornu ventrale. These results indicate that while macrophages and CD4(+) T cells participate in the early phase lesion and paralysis and only CD4(+) T cells in the late phase lesion and paralysis.