Type I interferons (IFN), including IFN beta, play a protective role in multiple sclerosis (MS) and its animal model, experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis (EAE). Type I IFNs are induced by the stimulation of innate signaling, including via cytoplasmic RIG-I-like receptors. In the present study, we investigated the potential effect of a chimeric protein containing the key domain of RIG-I signaling in the production of CNS endogenous IFN beta and asked whether this would exert a therapeutic effect against EAE. We intrathecally administered an adeno-associated virus vector (AAV) encoding a fusion protein comprising RIG-I 2CARD domains (C) and the first 200 amino acids of mitochondrial antiviral-signaling protein (MAVS) (M) (AAV-CM). In vivo imaging in IFN beta/luciferase reporter mice revealed that a single intrathecal injection of AAV-CM resulted in dose-dependent and sustained IFN beta expression within the CNS. IFN beta expression was significantly increased for 7 days. Immunofluorescent staining in IFN beta-YFP reporter mice revealed extraparenchymal CD45+ cells, choroid plexus, and astrocytes as sources of IFN beta. Moreover, intrathecal administration of AAV-CM at the onset of EAE induced the suppression of EAE, which was IFN-I-dependent. These findings suggest that accessing the signaling pathway downstream of RIG-I represents a promising therapeutic strategy for inflammatory CNS diseases, such as MS.