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Mandana Zandian, Raelene Belisle, Kevin R. Mott, Steven Nusinowitz, Florence M. Hofman, Homayon Ghiasi; Optic Neuritis in Different Strains of Mice by a Recombinant HSV-1 Expressing Murine Interleukin-2. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2009;50(7):3275-3282. doi: 10.1167/iovs.08-3211.
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purpose. The authors have shown previously that a recombinant HSV-1 that constitutively expresses two copies of murine IL-2 (HSV-IL-2) induces demyelination by activated CD8+ T cells in the brain and spinal cord of ocularly infected female BALB/c mice. The present study was conducted to determine whether the ocular infection with this recombinant virus induces optic neuritis independent of virus dose, major histocompatibility complex (MHC) background, or sex.
methods. Female BALB/c, C57BL/6, SJL/6, and 129SVE mice and male BALB/c mice were ocularly infected with different doses of recombinant HSV-IL-2 virus. Demyelination of optic nerves in infected mice was monitored histologically using Luxol fast blue staining and by measurement of visual-evoked cortical potentials (VECPs).
results. Both focal and diffuse regions of demyelination of the optic nerves were observed in the HSV-IL-2–infected mice as early as day 10 after infection and as late as day 60 after infection (the final experimental time point) in all strains of mice tested. Optic nerve demyelination was not observed in control mice ocularly infected with HSV-IL-4 or wild-type HSV-1. VECP responses were delayed significantly in the HSV-IL-2–infected mice compared with mice infected with control viruses.
conclusions. The results demonstrate for the first time that a combination of viral infection and constitutive expression of IL-2, but not IFN-γ or IL-4, can result in demyelination and visual impairment in the optic nerves of ocularly infected mice.
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