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Columbia, MO, United States

Bouvrette D.J.,Research Animal Diagnostic Laboratory | Sittaramane V.,University of Missouri | Heidel J.R.,Oregon State University | Chandrasekhar A.,University of Missouri | Bryda E.C.,Research Animal Diagnostic Laboratory
Comparative Medicine | Year: 2010

Polycystic kidney disease (PKD) is one of the leading causes of end-stage renal disease in humans and is characterized by progressive cyst formation, renal enlargement, and abnormal tubular development. Currently, there is no cure for PKD. Although a number of PKD genes have been identified, their precise role in cystogenesis remains unclear. In the jcpk mouse model of PKD, mutations in the bicaudal C gene (Bicc1) are responsible for the cystic phenotype; however, the function of Bicc1 is unknown. In this study, we establish an alternative, nonmammalian zebrafish model to study the role of Bicc1 in PKD pathogenesis. Antisense morpholinos were used to evaluate loss of Bicc1 function in zebrafish. The resulting morphants were examined histologically for kidney cysts and structural abnormalities. Immunostaining and fluorescent dye injection were used to evaluate pronephric cilia and kidney morphogenesis. Knockdown of zebrafish Bicc1 expression resulted in the formation of kidney cysts; however, defects in kidney structure or pronephric cilia were not observed. Importantly, expression of mouse Bicc1 rescues the cystic phenotype of the morphants. These results demonstrate that the function of Bicc1 in the kidney is evolutionarily conserved, thus supporting the use of zebrafish as an alternative in vivo model to study the role of mammalian Bicc1 in renal cyst formation. Copyright 2010 by the American Association for Laboratory Animal Science.

Drake M.T.,Research Animal Diagnostic Laboratory | Drake M.T.,University of Missouri | Besch-Williford C.,Research Animal Diagnostic Laboratory | Besch-Williford C.,University of Missouri | And 4 more authors.
Virus Research | Year: 2011

Rat theilovirus (RTV) is a cardiovirus related to Theiler's murine encephalomyelitis virus. While RTV is a prevalent viral pathogen of rats used in biomedical research, the pathogenesis and characterization of RTV infections is not well understood. In the studies reported herein, we used immunohistochemistry to identify viral antigens in enterocytes of the small intestines of Sprague-Dawley (SD) rats. Fecal viral shedding in immunocompromised and immunocompetent rats following oral gavage with RTV1 was high for the first 2 weeks of infection with persistent shedding of high viral loads being observed in immunocompromised nude rats but not in immunocompetent rats. RTV was also detected in mesenteric lymph nodes and spleen of immunocompromised rats but not immunocompetent rats. In addition, the magnitude of serum antibody responses differed between immunocompetent rat strains with Brown Norway and SD rats having a significantly higher antibody response than CD or Fischer 344 rats. These data suggest that RTV1 has a tropism for the epithelial cells of the small intestine, immunocompetent rats have differing serum antibody responses to RTV infection, and sustained fecal shedding and extraintestinal dissemination of RTV1 occurs in rats deficient in T cell-dependent adaptive immunity. RTV infection in immunocompromised and immunocompetent rats has merit as a model for further studies of theilovirus pathogenesis following oral viral exposure. © 2011 Elsevier B.V.

Livingston R.S.,Research Animal Diagnostic Laboratory | Besch-Williford C.L.,Research Animal Diagnostic Laboratory | Myles M.H.,Research Animal Diagnostic Laboratory | Franklin C.L.,Research Animal Diagnostic Laboratory | And 2 more authors.
Comparative Medicine | Year: 2011

Idiopathic lung lesions characterized by dense perivascular cuffs of lymphocytes and a lymphohistiocytic interstitial pneumonia have been noted in research rats since the 1990s. Although the etiology of this disease has remained elusive, a putative viral etiology was suspected and the term 'rat respiratory virus' (RRV) has been used in reference to this disease agent. The purpose of this study was to determine whether Pneumocystis carinii infection in immunocompetent rats can cause idiopathic lung lesions previously attributed to RRV. In archived paraffin-embedded lungs (n = 43), a significant association was seen between idiopathic lung lesions and Pneumocystis DNA detected by PCR. In experimental studies, lung lesions of RRV developed in 9 of 10 CD rats 5 wk after intratracheal inoculation with P. carinii. No lung lesions developed in CD rats (n = 10) dosed with a 0.22-μm filtrate of the P. carinii inoculum, thus ruling out viral etiologies, or in sham-inoculated rats (n = 6). Moreover, 13 of 16 CD rats cohoused with immunosuppressed rats inoculated with P. carinii developed characteristic lung lesions from 3 to 7 wk after cohousing, whereas no lesions developed in rats cohoused with immunosuppressed sham-inoculated rats (n = 7). Both experimental infection studies revealed a statistically significant association between lung lesion development and exposure to P. carinii. These data strongly support the conclusion that P. carinii infection in rats causes lung lesions that previously have been attributed to RRV. Copyright 2011 by the American Association for Laboratory Animal Science.

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