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Vet Pathol. 2006 Nov;43(6):981-7.

Immunohistochemical evaluation of mx protein expression in canine encephalitides.

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Texas A and M University, College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, Department of Pathobiology, College Station, TX 77843-4467, USA.


Mx proteins are a group of interferon-induced GTPases whose expression has been demonstrated in a number of human viral infections and in some idiopathic inflammatory diseases. In this study, the expression of Mx protein was evaluated in known viral, nonviral, and idiopathic encephalitides in the dog via immunohistochemistry using an antibody against human MxA. All 12 cases of confirmed viral encephalitis, including 7 cases of canine distemper, 4 cases of canine herpesvirus, and 1 case of rabies, were Mx positive. In canine distemper cases, staining was particularly strong and a variety of cell types were positive, including astrocytes, macrophages/microglia, and neurons. Immunoreactivity for Mx protein was evident in a few cases of nonviral infectious encephalitis, including neosporosis (1/1), Chagas disease (2/3), aspergillosis (1/2), and encephalitozoonosis (1/1). Consistent staining was observed in most cases of idiopathic encephalitis, including granulomatous meningoencephalomyelitis (7/7), necrotizing meningoencephalitis of pug dogs (6/7), and necrotizing encephalitis of the Yorkshire Terrier (3/3) and Maltese (1/1) breeds. Mx staining was negative in 5 normal dog brains; 3 cases of cryptococcosis; and single cases of blastomycosis, protothecosis, and bacterial meningitis.

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