Host genetic background influences diverse neurological responses to viral infection in mice
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Infection by Theiler's murine encephalomyelitis virus (TMEV) is a model for neurological outcomes caused by virus infection because it leads to diverse neurological conditions in mice, depending on the strain infected. To extend knowledge on the heterogeneous neurological outcomes caused by TMEV and identify new models of human neurological diseases associated with antecedent infections, we analyzed the phenotypic consequences of TMEV infection in the Collaborative Cross (CC) mouse population. We evaluated 5 different CC strains for outcomes of long-term infection (3 months) and acute vs. early chronic infection (7 vs. 28 days post-infection), using neurological and behavioral phenotyping tests and histology. We correlated phenotypic observations with haplotypes of genomic regions previously linked to TMEV susceptibility to test the hypothesis that genomic diversity within CC mice results in variable disease phenotypes in response to TMEV. None of the 5 strains analyzed had a response identical to that of any other CC strain or inbred strain for which prior data are available, indicating that strains of the CC can produce novel models of neurological disease. Thus, CC strains can be a powerful resource for studying how viral infection can cause different neurological outcomes depending on host genetic background.
author list (cited authors)
Brinkmeyer-Langford, C. L., Rech, R., Amstalden, K., Kochan, K. J., Hillhouse, A. E., Young, C., Welsh, C. J., & Threadgill, D. W.