A host defense role for a natural antiviral substance in the nervous system

Samuel Baron, Ashok K. Chopra, Dorian H Coppenhaver, Benjamin Gelman, Joyce Poast, Indra P. Singh

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


The pathogenesis of virus infections of the nervous system (NS) is regulated by host defenses. The defensive role of a major constitutive antiviral substance was studied by determining its distribution in the human nervous system, its concentration and the ability of this vital inhibitor to protect mice against vital infection. The 4000 kDa inhibitor complex in the human nervous system was detected in brain gray and white matter, spinal cord, and sciatic nerve but not in human cerebrospinal fluid. The inhibitor was found in the extracellular medium incubated with minced murine brain. The inhibitory titer ranged from approximately 50 to 200 antiviral units per gram against polio 1, Semliki Forest, Banzi, mengo, Newcastle disease and herpes simplex 1 viruses. The inhibitor is composed of lipid and essential protein and carbohydrate moieties as determined by enzymatic inactivation. Protection of inhibitor-treated mice was demonstrated against both an alphavirus and a picornavirus. Thus a natural defensive role for the broadly antiviral inhibitor is suggested by its constitutively high concentration, wide distribution in nervous system tissues, presence in extracellular fluid and its ability to provide protection in infected mice.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)168-173
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Neuroimmunology
Issue number2
StatePublished - May 15 1998
Externally publishedYes


  • Alpha virus
  • Antiviral agent
  • Encephalitis
  • Host defense
  • Picornavirus
  • Virus inhibitor

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Immunology
  • Neurology
  • Clinical Neurology


Dive into the research topics of 'A host defense role for a natural antiviral substance in the nervous system'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this