Acute RNA Viral Encephalomyelitis and the Role of Antibodies in the Central Nervous System

Maggie L. Bartlett, Diane E. Griffin

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Acute RNA viral encephalomyelitis is a serious complication of numerous virus infections. Antibodies in the cerebral spinal fluid (CSF) are correlated to better outcomes, and there is substantive evidence of antibody secreting cells (ASCs) entering the central nervous system (CNS) and contributing to resolution of infection. Here, we review the RNA viruses known to cause acute viral encephalomyelitis with mechanisms of control that require antibody or ASCs. We compile the cytokines, chemokines, and surface receptors associated with ASC recruitment to the CNS after infection and compare known antibody-mediated mechanisms as well as potential noncytolytic mechanisms for virus control. These non-canonical functions of antibodies may be employed in the CNS to protect precious non-renewable neurons. Understanding the immune-specialized zone of the CNS is essential for the development of effective treatments for acute encephalomyelitis caused by RNA viruses.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number0988
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 2020


  • Antibodies
  • Central nervous system
  • Encephalomyelitis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Infectious Diseases
  • Virology


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