Mice injected with Rhodococcus aurantiacus by the intravenous (i.v.) route show neurological disorders, hemiparesis, vertical headshake and turn-round gait after day 7 postinfection (p.i.). Neurological symptoms caused by i.v. inoculation of R. aurantiacus were relieved by treatment with levodopa (l-dopa). R. aurantiacus was isolated from the brain and was found to be completely eliminated at day 7 p.i. Focal encephalitis was mainly observed in the brain stem, and T cells could be isolated from the brain after day 7 p.i. Administration of both an anti-CD4 monoclonal antibody (mAb) and an anti-CD8 mAb suppressed neurological symptoms. These results suggest that R. aurantiacus induces movement disorders in mice, and that the symptoms are mediated by T cells infiltrating the brain, rather than directly by the bacterium
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