Demyelination induced by Theiler's virus was examined in mouse strains with congeneic recombinant haplotypes. Light and electron microscopy of spinal cord sections from mice with s, q, v, p, and f H-2D alleles showed perivascular inflammation and primary demyelination. The presence of susceptible haplotypes in the K or I region did not correlate with pathologic abnormalities. The Qa, Tla, PgK, and UpG genes did not appear to be critical in determining susceptibility to disease. However, mutation in the H-2D genes altered the susceptibility to virus-induced demyelination. B10.D2dm1 mice, which have deletions in the 3' end of Dd and the 5' end of Ld, showed prominent demyelination and clinical deficits. In contrast, BALB/c-dm2, which have a deletion of the entire L gene, showed no pathologic changes. Central nervous system virus titers correlated with susceptibility to demyelination; both resistant and susceptible strains had a strong humoral immune response to the virus. The findings in the congeneic recombinant mice and in mice mutant in the H-2D region strongly suggest that at least one of the genes critical for determining virus-induced demyelination maps to the 3' end of the H-2D gene.

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