Virus specificity and isotype expression of intraparenchymal antibody-secreting cells during Sindbis virus encephalitis in mice

William R. Tyor, Diane E. Griffin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


To study the generation of specific antibody responses within the central nervous system (CNS), we have utilized a murine model of acute viral encephalitis. When Sindbis virus (SV) is injected intracerebrally into weanling mice it causes an acute non-fatal encephalitis and recovery is primarily dependent on the development of antiviral antibody. We used a modified enzyme-linked immunoassay to determine the number of antibody-secreting cells (ASC) specific for SV and their Ig isotype in brain, spleen and cervical lymph nodes over the course of the acute encephalitis. The numbers of SV-specific ASC peak early in spleen and lymph nodes and then begin to increase in brain, suggesting that initial stimulation of B cells occurs primarily in peripheral lymphoid tissue followed by B cell entry into the circulation and appearance in the brain. The pattern for each individual isotype was similar with peak numbers of SV-specific cells present in the spleen 5-7 days after infection, while numbers in the brain continue to rise through day 20 when most ASC were secreting IgG2a or IgA SV-specific antibody. The data suggest therefore that most isotype switching from IgM to IgG and IgA occurs in peripheral lymphoid tissue. An exception to this pattern is IgG1, where numbers of ASC producing IgG1 do not show a peak in spleen and continue to rise in brain through the course of acute encephalitis. The data also indicate that early in infection a large proportion of ASC in the brain are not specific for SV and demonstrate that recruitment of ASC into the CNS is non-specific. However, the percentage of ASC that are specific for SV structural proteins rises steadi throughout the course of encephalitis suggesting that retention of ASC in the CNS is specific or that some portion of the SV-specific antibody response is generated within the CNS.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)37-44
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Neuroimmunology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Oct 1993


  • Antibody-secreting cells
  • Encephalitis
  • Sindbis virus

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Immunology
  • Neurology
  • Clinical Neurology


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