The development of autoimmunity was investigated in BALB/c and C58 mice infected with lactate dehydrogenase-elevating virus (LDV). Autoantibodies reactive by ELISA with syngeneic central nervous system antigens appeared early during LDV infection of both strains of mice, and were maintained for many months. Western blot analysis indicated that the LDV-induced autoantibodies reacted with a variety of different brain antigens, and mouse strain differences in the pattern of autoreactivity were observed. LDV infection of C58 and BALB/c mice also stimulated antibodies reactive with syngeneic liver-, kidney- and spleen-derived antigens, and in Swiss outbred mice heart-reactive antibodies were observed following LDV infection. These results show that autoimmunity is a feature of the deregulation of the immune system which occurs during LDV infection.


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