Induction of glial cell MHC antigen expression in neurotropic coronavirus infections. Characterization of the H-2-inducing soluble factor elaborated by infected brain cells
Murine hepatitis virus
Nerve Tissue Proteins
Neurotropic coronavirus (mouse hepatitis virus strain A59) infection induces major histocompatibility complex class I (H-2) surface antigens on oligodendrocytes and astrocytes, cells that do not normally express detectable MHC antigens on their surface. The induction on MHC antigen expression potentially allows immunocytes to interact with infected glial cells and may play a critical role in the development of virus-induced, immune-mediated demyelination in the central nervous system, a possible model of human multiple sclerosis. In this study, we characterized the soluble factor involved in MHC antigen induction, quantitated induction of MHC antigens, and analyzed the central nervous system cell type involved in the production of the factor. The H-2-inducing factor, most likely produced by astrocytes, was found to be nondialyzable, heat- and trypsin-sensitive, but resistant to treatment at pH 2.0. The m.w. of the factor was estimated as 50 to 100 kDa. Studies on fractionation by ultrafiltration and sucrose density gradient along with antibody-blocking experiments indicate that the factor is not interferon or virus particles.