Coxsackievirus-induced chronic myocarditis in murine models

C. J. Gauntt, S. M. Tracy, N. Chapman, H. J. Wood, P. C. Kolbeck, A. G. Karaganis, C. L. Winfrey, M. W. Cunningham

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

33 Scopus citations


Challenge of several murine strains with two highly myocarditic variants of coxsackievirus B3 (CVB3) induced acute and chronic myocarditis, detectable at 21 and 45 days post-inoculation (p.i.). In-situ hybridization of coronal heart sections showing chronic inflammation with a radiolabelled CVB3 probe detected viral genomic RNA at day 7 p.i., but rarely at 21 or 45 days p.i., suggesting few murine heart cells actively replicate virus during chronic myocardial inflammation Data will be presented that favour an alternative hypothesis, i.e. autoimmune responses to shared epitopes among CVB3 proteins, cardiac myosin and myocardial cell surface proteins (molecular mimicry) can affect the severity of chronic inflammation. Mice inoculated with human cardiac myosin (HM) prior to a CVB3, challenge develop less myocarditis than mice inoculated with virus only, suggesting that antibodies stimulated by HM bind virus, reduce the virus burden and provide protection. Mice inoculated with HM only develop non-neutralizing antibodies against purified CVB3(m) particles. Several strains of mice inoculated with specific synthetic peptides of HM produce antibodies against CVB3(m) and/or develop cardiomyopathy. Thus antigen-challenged mice can produce antibodies which cross-react among CVB3(m) HM or cardiac cells to protect or exacerbate heart disease.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)56-58
Number of pages3
JournalEuropean Heart Journal
Issue numberSUPPL. O
StatePublished - 1995
Externally publishedYes


  • Animal model
  • Autoimmune disease
  • Coxsackievirus
  • Enterovirus genomes
  • Mechanisms of pathogenicity
  • Myocarditis
  • Myosin epitopes
  • Shared epitopes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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