Germ line IgM is sufficient, but not required, for antibodymediated alphavirus clearance from the central nervous system

Voraphoj Nilaratanakul, Jie Chen, Oanh Tran, Victoria K. Baxter, Elizabeth M. Troisi, Jane X. Yeh, Diane E. Griffin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


Sindbis virus (SINV) infection of neurons in the brain and spinal cord in mice provides a model system for investigating recovery from encephalomyelitis and antibody-mediated clearance of virus from the central nervous system (CNS). To determine the roles of IgM and IgG in recovery, we compared the responses of immunoglobulin-deficient activation-induced adenosine deaminase-deficient (AID-/-), secretory IgM-deficient (sIgM-/-), and AID-/- sIgM-/- double-knockout (DKO) mice with those of wild-type (WT) C57BL/6 mice for disease, clearance of infectious virus and viral RNA from brain and spinal cord, antibody responses, and B cell infiltration into the CNS. Because AID is essential for immunoglobulin class switch recombination and somatic hypermutation, AID-/- mice produce only germ line IgM, while sIgM-/- mice secrete IgG but no IgM and DKO mice produce no secreted immunoglobulin. After intracerebral infection with the TE strain of SINV, most mice recovered. Development of neurologic disease occurred slightly later in sIgM-/- mice, but disease severity, weight loss, and survival were similar between the groups. AID-/- mice produced high levels of SINV-specific IgM, while sIgM-/- mice produced no IgM and high levels of IgG2a compared to WT mice. All mice cleared infectious virus from the spinal cord, but DKO mice failed to clear infectious virus from brain and had higher levels of viral RNA in the CNS late after infection. The numbers of infected cells and the amount of cell death in brain were comparable. We conclude that antibody is required and that either germ line IgM or IgG is sufficient for clearance of virus from the CNS.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere02081-17
JournalJournal of virology
Issue number7
StatePublished - Apr 1 2018


  • Antibody
  • Mice
  • Neurons
  • Sindbis virus
  • Viral encephalomyelitis
  • Virus clearance

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Microbiology
  • Immunology
  • Insect Science
  • Virology


Dive into the research topics of 'Germ line IgM is sufficient, but not required, for antibodymediated alphavirus clearance from the central nervous system'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this