Optic neuritis in chronic relapsing experimental allergic encephalomyelitis in Biozzi ABH mice: demyelination and fast axonal transport changes in disease

J K O'Neill, D Baker, M M Morris, S E Gschmeissner, H G Jenkins, A M Butt, S L Kirvell, S Amor

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The encephalitogenicity of optic nerve tissue was demonstrated in Biozzi ABH (H-2(dq1)) mice. Acute experimental allergic encephalomyelitis (EAE) occurred in 11/14 animals and 4/5 exhibited relapse. The involvement of the optic nerve in spinal cord homogenate induced chronic relapsing EAE (CREAE) was demonstrated by mononuclear cell infiltration and myelin degradation in the optic nerve prior to and during clinical disease. During the relapse phase gross pathological assessment revealed swollen and translucent plaques on the optic nerves. Advanced lesions showed widespread demyelination, astrocytic gliosis and fibrotic changes of the blood vessels. Physiologically, the fast axonal transport of proteins from the retina to the optic nerve and superior colliculus was significantly decreased during relapse. The association of inflammation and demyelination with physiological deficit in the optic nerve highlights the usefulness of this model in the study of multiple sclerosis in which acute monosymptomatic unilateral optic neuritis is a common manifestation. Furthermore, the novel induction of CREAE with optic nerve homogenate suggests that optic neuritis is a common significant role in the pathophysiology and progression of neurological disease in CREAE which may be relevant to studies of optic neuritis in multiple sclerosis.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)210-8
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Neuroimmunology
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 1998


  • Animals
  • Antigens
  • Axonal Transport
  • Chronic Disease
  • Demyelinating Diseases
  • Encephalomyelitis, Autoimmune, Experimental
  • Journal Article
  • Mice
  • Mice, Mutant Strains
  • Optic Nerve
  • Optic Neuritis
  • Recurrence
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

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