Development of postinfection epilepsy after theiler's virus infection of C57BL/6 mice

Kerry Ann A. Stewart, Karen S. Wilcox, Robert S. Fujinami, H. Steve White

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Viral infection of the central nervous system can lead to long-term neurologic defects, including increased risk for the development of epilepsy. We describe the development of the first mouse model of viral-induced epilepsy after intracerebral infection with Theiler's murine encephalomyelitis virus. Mice were monitored with long-term video-electroencephalogram at multiple time points after infection. Most miceexhibited short-term symptomatic seizures within 3 to 7days of infection. This was followed by a distinct latent period in which no seizures were observed. Prolonged video-electroencephalogram recordings at 2, 4, and 7 months after the initial infection revealed that asignificant proportion of the mice developed profound, spontaneous epileptic seizures. Neuropathologic examination revealed hippocampal sclerosis in animals with epilepsy. Theiler's murine encephalomyelitis virus-infected C57BL/6 mice represent a novel "hit-and-run" model toinvestigate mechanisms underlying viral-induced short-term symptomatic seizures, epileptogenesis, and epilepsy. Importantly, this model will also be useful to investigate novel therapies for the treatment and prevention of epilepsy.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1210-1219
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of neuropathology and experimental neurology
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 2010
Externally publishedYes


  • Animal model
  • Epilepsy
  • Epileptogenesis
  • Hippocampus
  • Inflammation
  • Seizure
  • Virus

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine
  • Neurology
  • Clinical Neurology
  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience


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