Transgenic mice containing the early region of human papovavirus JC were produced. Some of these mice exhibited a shaking disorder similar to the previously described mutant mice jimpy or quaking. Neuropathological analysis indicated a dysmyelination in the central nervous system, but not the peripheral nervous system. A high level of JCV T-antigen mRNA was present in the brains of the mice exhibiting the myelin disorder. JC virus is associated in humans with a degenerative demyelinating disease: progressive multifocal leukoencephalopathy. The JCV-containing transgenic mice may therefore provide an animal model for studying this disease.