In multiple sclerosis (MS) and its animal model, experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis (EAE), autoaggressive T cells traffic into the CNS and induce disease. Infiltration of these pathogenic T cells into the CNS has been correlated with the expression of the chemokine IFN-inducible protein (IP)10/ CXC chemokine ligand (CXCL)10, a chemoattractant for activated T cells, and its receptor CXCR3, in the CNS of both MS patients and mice with EAE. In the present study, we report that targeted deletion of IP-10 did not diminish the expression, severity, or histopathology of EAE induced by active immunization with 100 μg of myelin oligodendrocyte glycoprotein peptide (MOG)p35-55. However, we found that IP-10-deficient mice had a lower threshold for expression of disease compared with wild-type littermates. EAE induced by immunization with 5 μg of MOGp35-55 resulted in more severe disease characterized by a greater number of CNS lesions and infiltrating mononuclear cells in IP-10-deficient mice compared with wild-type controls. IP-10-deficient mice immunized with MOGp35-55 demonstrated increased levels of IFN-inducible T cell α-chemokine/CXCL11 mRNA in the CNS and decreased levels of monokine induced by IFN-γ/CXCL9 mRNA in draining lymph nodes, suggesting differential compensation for loss of IP-10 in lymphoid vs parenchymal tissue compartments. EAE in IP-10-deficient mice induced by low-dose immunization was associated with enhanced Ag-specific Th1 responses in the draining lymph node, which corresponded with diminished lymph node TGF-β1 expression. Our data demonstrated that IP-10 was not required for the trafficking of pathogenic T cells into the CNS in EAE but played an unexpected role in determining the threshold of disease susceptibility in the periphery.