A role for alpha4-integrin in the pathology following Semliki Forest virus infection

J P Smith, M Morris-Downes, F R Brennan, G J Wallace, S Amor

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27 Citations (Scopus)


Migration of cells into the central nervous system (CNS) is a pivotal step in the pathogenesis of immune-mediated diseases such as multiple sclerosis (MS), experimental allergic encephalomyelitis (EAE) and virus-induced demyelinating diseases. Such migration is dependent on expression of adhesion molecules. The expression of adhesion molecules in the CNS was studied in Biozzi ABH mice infected with Semliki Forest virus (SFV) A7(74) - an important demyelinating model of MS. Expression of LFA-1alpha/CD11a, LFA-1beta/CD18 and ICAM-1/CD56 were rapidly elevated and remained high whereas MAC-1, CD44 and VCAM-1/CD106 were less widely expressed. The alpha4-integrin VLA-4/CD49d was more specifically associated with CNS lesions. To identify the importance of VLA-4, CD44, ICAM-1 and MAC-1 in the pathogenesis of SFV infection, monoclonal antibodies that block these adhesion molecules were administered in vivo during infection. Anti-VLA-4 treatment dramatically reduced the cellular infiltrates and demyelination within the CNS but did not affect the clearance of virus while antibodies to CD44, ICAM and MAC-1 antibody treatment had no effect. This study demonstrates that SFV infection induces the expression of adhesion molecules within the CNS and that VLA-4 plays an important role in the development of inflammation and demyelination in the CNS following SFV infection.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)60-8
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Neuroimmunology
Issue number1-2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jul 2000


  • Alphavirus Infections
  • Animals
  • Antibodies
  • Antigens, CD
  • Cell Adhesion Molecules
  • Central Nervous System
  • Immunohistochemistry
  • Integrin alpha4
  • Journal Article
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred Strains
  • Myelin Sheath
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Semliki forest virus

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