To determine whether defective interfering (DI) particles alter viral encephalitis BALB/c mice were inoculated intranasally with standard vesicular stomatitis virus (VSV) and its DI particles. Addition of 10(7) PFU equivalents of DI particles to 10(5) PFU of VSV reduced morbidity but did not delay disease onset. Less mortality was also observed. When 10(3) PFU equivalents of DI particles or UV-irradiated DI particles were substituted, these effects were absent. Attempts to correlate mortality with virus recovered from the brain could not be made due to considerable variations in the few surviving mice. Immunohistochemical analysis obtained from 121 mice showed that inoculation of DI particles limited the specific pathways of VSV antigen dissemination within the central nervous system, and new pathways were not substituted. In the group of mice with reduced mortality due to DI particles, at day 4 post inoculation VSV antigen was limited to the outer layers of the glomeruli of the olfactory bulb and to the accessory olfactory bulb, whereas there was deeper invasion of the olfactory bulb and olfactory ventricular system with mice infected with standard VSV alone. Correlation between mortality and extent of invasion became more difficult to make from 8 days on, when VSV antigens were found in discrete areas of the brain. By 12 days, few surviving mice contained any detectable VSV antigen in their brains. These results demonstrate that DI particles have potential as therapeutic agents. Also, mortality resulting from VSV-induced encephalitis, although poorly understood, may be determined very early, possibly while the virus is replicating at the site of inoculation.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Clinical Neurology
- Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience