The immune response in the cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) and serum of BALB/c mice was compared after intracerebral (i.c.) inoculation with inactivated parainfluenza type 1 virus. The antiviral antibody response in CSF peaked approximately 11 days after primary i.c. inoculation coinciding with or even slightly preceding the response in the serum. Prior extracerebral priming of the mice by the intranasal or i.v. route did not alter the kinetics of the response in CSF. However, the antibody response in CSF after i.c. inoculation was accelerated if the mice were primed previously by the i.c. route. In all instances, CSF and serum differed markedly with regard to the isotype composition, which was characterized by a 20- to 80-fold increase in IgA over IgG1 and IgG2 in CSF.
Taken together, the results prove that part of the antiviral antibodies in CSF are locally produced. In addition, the results indicate that after primary i.c. inoculation with virus, the CNS acquired immunocompetence with regard to the secondary anti-parainfluenza response.