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Immunology. 1988 Jul;64(3):397-405.

Multiple autoantibodies following cytomegalovirus infection: virus distribution and specificity of autoantibodies.

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Department of Medicine, University of Western Australia, Nedlands.


Multiple autoantibodies were found in the sera of BALB/c, C57BL/10 and C3H mice following mouse cytomegalovirus (MCMV) infection. The complex pattern of intra-organ, intratissue and intracellular reactivity observed by immunoperoxidase histochemistry suggested that many autoantibodies of varying specificities were elicited. This evidence from immunoperoxidase histochemistry was confirmed by immunoblot, where autoantibodies binding to polypeptides of a variety of sizes and tissues of origin were observed. In addition to these central findings, the tissue and organ distribution of MCMV in three mouse strains of differing genetic resistance were described. No correlation was found between the distribution of virus and the tissue and organ specificity of the autoantibodies produced following infection. Inflammatory responses accompanied MCMV infection in a number of tissues. In BALB/c mice, myocarditis and salivary gland inflammation were evident at Day 56 post-infection in the absence of MCMV, but in the presence of autoantibodies to cardiac muscle and salivary duct epithelium. This model for virus-induced autoimmunity can be applied to studies of the relationship between virus infection, autoimmunity and disease.

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