The effect of short-term and chronic immunosuppression on Theiler's virus demyelination

J Neuroimmunol. 1982 Jun;2(3-4):223-34. doi: 10.1016/0165-5728(82)90057-1.


Theiler's virus (TV)-infected mice were treated with antithymocyte serum (ATS), cyclophosphamide or pepstatin (a protease inhibitor) to determine the effect on demyelination. When ATS and cyclophosphamide were begun at the time of infection there was significantly less demyelination at 2.5-3.5 weeks than in pepstatin or non-treated infected controls. When immunosuppression was continued for 5 weeks, or when it was not started until 5 weeks post-infection, no significant decrease in demyelination was seen compared to controls. The findings indicate that timing of immunosuppression is critical in determining the extent of TV demyelination. Such demyelination may occur by different mechanisms that are active at different times. The "bystander effect' may be important in early demyelination, but late demyelination may be due to other causes, such as oligodendrocyte lytic infection.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antilymphocyte Serum / therapeutic use
  • Cyclophosphamide / therapeutic use
  • Demyelinating Diseases / drug therapy*
  • Demyelinating Diseases / pathology
  • Immunosuppressive Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Male
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred Strains
  • Pepstatins / therapeutic use
  • Picornaviridae Infections / drug therapy*
  • Picornaviridae Infections / pathology
  • Spinal Cord / pathology
  • T-Lymphocytes / immunology


  • Antilymphocyte Serum
  • Immunosuppressive Agents
  • Pepstatins
  • Streptomyces pepsin inhibitor
  • Cyclophosphamide
  • pepstatin