Albumin leakage into cerebrospinal fluid of dogs lethally infected with R252 canine distemper virus

G. C. Johnson, S. Krakowka, M. K. Axthelm

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) form nine lethally infected and three convalescent gnotobiotic dogs infected with the R252 strain of canine distemper virus (CDV) was evaluated prior to and following infection. Lethally infected dogs had a mean seven-fold increase in CSF albumin concentration compared to the preinoculation value, not present in dogs destined to survive. Immunochemical examination of tissue from these dogs revealed prominent perivascular localization of albumin. Examination of CSF cells demonstrated mild leukocytosis in both groups at the time when encephalopathic deaths occurred, with decreased lymphocyte percentages, particularly Thy-1-bearing lymphocytes, in lethally infected dogs. These dogs also had more extensive expression viral antigens in CSF and peripheral blood leukocytes at the time of death than did surviving dogs, and failed to make antibody to viral antigens. The findings link terminal breakdown of the blood-brain barrier and extensive viral antigen expression in CSF leukocytes with experimental CDV infection resulting in death.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)61-74
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Neuroimmunology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 1987
Externally publishedYes


  • Albumin
  • Blood-brain barrier
  • Canine distemper
  • Cerebrospinal fluid
  • Morbillivirus

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Immunology
  • Neurology
  • Clinical Neurology


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