Pathogenesis of human poliovirus infection in mice: I. Clinical and pathological studies

Burk Jubelt, Ghislaine Gallez-Hawkins, Opendra Narayan, Richard T. Johnson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Human poliovirus infection in mice was studied to determine the similarities to human poliomyelitis, the selective vulnerability of neurons to infection, the role of the immune response in age-dependent susceptibility, and possible viral persistence. Mice inoculated intracerebrally (ic) with the Lansing type 2 poliovirus developed a disease with clinical, pathological, and age-dependent features resembling human poliomyelitis. Adult mice had a shorter incubation period (50% paralysis, Day 8 vs. Day 13) and a higher incidence of paralysis (97% vs. 79%) than newborns. Only paralyzed animals had pathologic changes in the spinal cord, and these corresponded to the degree of paralysis. Fluorescent antibody staining showed that selective infection of neurons was most intense in the anterior horn motor neurons of the spinal cord. There was no extraneural virus replication and no systemic neutralizing antibody response. Cyclophosphamide immunosuppression enhanced rather than diminished disease, indicating that maturation of immune responses did not explain the relative resistance of newborns to paralysis.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)138-148
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of neuropathology and experimental neurology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jan 1 1980

ASJC Scopus subject areas

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


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