A disease that is given to laboratory animals that produces symptoms similar to those of multiple sclerosis (MS) in humans. It is mostly used in mice and rats, but can also be produced in monkeys, rabbits and guinea pigs.
Experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis (EAE) is autoimmune in nature and is produced by injecting animals with different proteins from the central nervous system of other animals, including extracts of myelin basic protein and whole spinal cord or brain tissue, or with T cells that specifically react to myelin. EAE can be produced in animals to follow the course the relapsing or progressive forms of MS.
EAE has allowed many drugs to be developed for MS, as all drugs must be tested on animals to determine safety and efficacy before they are tested on humans. It also has allowed a great deal of insight into the specific disease processes of MS and other basic science questions.