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Vaccine. 2001 Apr 30;19(23-24):3201-8.

Comparison of neuropathogenicity of poliovirus type 3 in transgenic mice bearing the poliovirus receptor gene and cynomolgus monkeys.

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Department of Pathology, National Institute of Infectious Diseases, Gakuen 4-7-1, Musashi-Murayama, 208-0011, Tokyo, Japan.


To clarify the similarities of poliovirus infection in cynomolgus monkeys and transgenic mice bearing the poliovirus receptor, TgPVR21, we compared the pathological changes of these animals following intraspinal inoculation of two strains of poliovirus type 3 using immunohistochemical detection of the capsid antigen. All of the monkeys inoculated with 10(6) TCID(50) viruses showed flaccid paralysis 2 or 3 days post-inoculation (p.i.). TgPVR21 mice showed paralysis starting from 2 to 3 days p.i. Histologically, neurons having pyknotic nuclei and eosinophilic cytoplasm and neuronophagia were characteristically observed in both animals, but central chromatolysis was not observed in infected TgPVR21. The median lesion scores in the monkeys and TgPVR21 were well correlated, though the distribution of poliovirus-infected lesions in the central nervous system was different. In both animals the motor neurons and the brainstem nuclei responsible for flaccid paralysis were infected by the virus, while the cerebral cortex and thalamus were infected in the monkeys but not in TgPVR21. These results confirmed the reliability of neurovirulence tests using TgPVR21 as a substitute for monkeys, in respect to the spinal and brainstem lesions of poliovirus type 3.

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