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A model for mixed virus disease: co-infection with Moloney murine leukemia virus potentiates runting induced by polyomavirus (A2 strain) in Balb/c and NIH Swiss mice

A model for mixed virus disease: co-infection with Moloney murine leukemia virus potentiates runting induced by polyomavirus (A2 strain) in Balb/c and NIH Swiss mice

Virology 212(2): 356-366

Polyomavirus was originally isolated by Ludwick Gross from a mixture that also contained a murine retrovirus. A possible pathogenic interaction between polyomavirus and an endogenous mouse retrovirus locus (mtv-7) in polyomavirus-induced cancer has also been reported. To study potential interactive effects of polyomavirus (Py) and Moloney murine leukemia retrovirus (M-MuLV), newborn Balb/c and NIH Swiss mice were infected with high titer wild-type Py (A2 strain) and M-MuLV. Dramatically stunted growth (runting) occurred in 100% of the doubly inoculated mice, while much lower frequency of runting occurred in animals infected with Py alone and not at all with M-MuLV-infected mice. In situ hybridization for Py DNA showed ongoing Py replication and inflammation in kidneys (atypical of most mice singly infected by Py) of runted doubly inoculated mice. In addition, high Py viral replication continued well past the usual acute stage termination. M-MuLV replication was also initially inhibited in bone marrow by simultaneous Py infection. No M-MuLV replication was seen in singly or doubly infected mouse kidneys. Runting was very rapid, observable within 2 days after co-infection, arguing against an adaptive or antigen-specific immunological mechanism. One possibility was that a cytokine-driven acute response mechanism was involved. Supporting this view, RNAse protection assays for various cytokine RNAs showed that several were specifically elevated in kidneys of doubly infected mice. Three patterns were observed: (1) IL-6 was elevated in doubly infected mice early after infection (7 days), but it declined at later times (19 days); (2) IFN-gamma, IL-1 beta, and IL-10 were elevated at both early and late times; and (3) TNF-alpha, IL-12p40, and possibly TNF-beta were elevated only at late times. While the cytokines in the third category might be indicative of infiltrating inflammatory cells, it seems possible that cytokines in the first or second categories might be involved in establishing runting and ongoing polyoma DNA replication in the doubly infected mice.

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Accession: 008046760

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PMID: 7571405

DOI: 10.1006/viro.1995.1493

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