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• Neville KL, Padilla J and Miller SD (2002). Myelin-specific tolerance attenuates the progression of a virus-induced demyelinating disease: implications for the treatment of MS. J Neuroimmunol. 123 (1-2): 18-29. Summary: Theiler's murine encephalomyelitis virus-induced demyelinating disease (TMEV-IDD), a multiple sclerosis (MS) model, is a central nervous system (CNS) demyelinating disease characterized by early peripheral T cell responses to virus epitopes which spreads to myelin epitopes during chronic disease. We show that CD4(+) T cells isolated from the spinal cords of chronically infected SJL mice proliferate and secrete pro-inflammatory cytokines upon in vitro challenge with both TMEV epitopes and proteolipid protein (PLP(139-151)). Importantly, myelin-specific tolerance induced by intravenous administration of MP4, a fusion of the myelin proteins myelin basic protein (MBP) and PLP, to SJL mice with ongoing TMEV-IDD attenuated disease progression and resulted in significantly less demyelination and decreased inflammatory cell infiltration in the CNS. Paradoxically, peptide-specific splenic T cell proliferative and IFN-gamma responses were enhanced in the tolerized mice. Collectively, these results indicate that myelin-specific T cell responses contribute to chronic disease progression in this virus-induced model of MS, and suggest caution in the use of antigen-specific tolerance for treatment of ongoing autoimmune disease. Department of Microbiology, Northwestern University Medical School, 303 East Chicago Avenue, Chicago, IL 60611, USA.