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In vivo analysis of porcine endogenous retrovirus expression in transgenic pigs



In vivo analysis of porcine endogenous retrovirus expression in transgenic pigs



Transplantation 72(12): 1996-2000



Xenotransplantation offers a potential solution to the shortage of donor organs for allotransplantation. In vitro studies that demonstrate the transmission of porcine endogenous retroviruses (PERV) from porcine cells to human cells and cell lines have raised concerns regarding the potential transmission of PERV to both xenograft recipients and their contacts (1-4). While no evidence of infection has been detected in any patients who have been treated with a variety of different porcine tissues (5-8), two studies have shown that severe combined immunodeficient (SCID) mice can be infected by PERV after the transplantation of porcine islets (9-10). To further address the concerns of PERV, expression of this virus in tissues and serum from transgenic pigs that express human decay accelerating factor was investigated. Although viral mRNA expression was detected in a variety of tissues, no evidence of viral release was observed in any of the porcine tissues analyzed by transmission electron microscopy. Analysis of porcine serum using the product-based reverse transcriptase assay suggested that virions may be present in porcine serum from large white pigs. However, using methods based on those previously described by Wilson et al. (4), infectious virus was not detected when activated peripheral blood mononuclear cells from these pigs were cocultivated with human cells known to be permissive for PERV.

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Accession: 046364681

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PMID: 11773903


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