The expression of major histocompatibility complex (MHC) class I antigens in the brain differs markedly in acute and persistent infections with lymphocytic choriomeningitis virus (LCMV)

J Neuroimmunol. 1992 Feb;36(2-3):193-8. doi: 10.1016/0165-5728(92)90050-u.


Intracranial inoculation of immunocompetent mice with lymphocytic choriomeningitis virus (LCMV) induces a fatal neurologic illness. In this disease a marked increase in MHC class I expression was found, closely associated with viral antigens and inflammatory infiltrates, in meninges, choroid plexus and ventricular ependyma but not within the brain parenchyma. Immunosuppression prevented MHC induction. Mice inoculated at birth had persistent infections, with LCMV antigens found primarily in neurons, but no inflammatory cells or focal increase in MHC class I. Failure of infected neurons to express MHC class I allows them to escape destruction by cytotoxic T cells (CTL) but may increase their susceptibility to be persistently infected by non-lytic viruses.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Acute Disease
  • Animals
  • Antigens, Viral / analysis
  • Brain / immunology*
  • Chronic Disease
  • Histocompatibility Antigens Class I / analysis*
  • Lymphocytic Choriomeningitis / immunology*
  • Lymphocytic choriomeningitis virus / immunology
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred C3H
  • Mice, Inbred C57BL
  • T-Lymphocytes, Cytotoxic / immunology


  • Antigens, Viral
  • Histocompatibility Antigens Class I