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Am J Pathol. 1999 Apr;154(4):1231-44.

Morphological, histochemical, immunohistochemical, and ultrastructural characterization of tumors and dysplastic and non-neoplastic lesions arising in BK virus/tat transgenic mice.

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  • 1Institute of Pathologic Anatomy and Histology, University of Padova, Padova, Italy. altavill@ux1.unipd.it

Abstract

To study the role in AIDS pathogenesis of the human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) Tat protein, a transactivator of viral and cellular genes, we generated transgenic mice with a recombinant DNA containing BK virus (BKV) early region and the HIV-1 tat gene, directed by its own promoter-enhancer. DNA hybridization revealed that the transgene is stably maintained in all organs of transgenic mice as a tandem insertion in a number of copies ranging from 5 to 20 per cell. In addition, tat and BKV RNA were expressed in all tissues. Transgenic mice developed three types of lesions: 1) tumors, 2) hyperplastic and dysplastic lesions, and 3) non-neoplastic lesions. Tumors of different histotypes, such as lymphomas, adenocarcinomas of skin glands, leiomyosarcomas, skin squamous cell carcinomas, hepatomas, hepatocarcinomas, and cavernous liver hemangiomas, developed in 29% of transgenic animals. The majority of tumors were malignant, invasive, and producing metastases. Conversely, tumors of only two histotypes (lymphomas and adenocarcinomas of skin glands) appeared in control mice. Hyperplastic and dysplastic lesions were more frequent in transgenic than in control mice and involved the skin or its adnexes, the liver and the rectum, indicating multiple targets for the activity of the transgene. Pyelonephritis, frequently complicated with hydronephrosis, inflammatory eye lesions, and amyloid depositions represented the most frequent non-neoplastic lesions detected in transgenic mice. Many of the pathological findings observed in this animal model are comparable to similar lesions appearing in AIDS patients, suggesting a relevant role for Tat in the pathogenesis of such lesions during the course of AIDS.

PMID:
10233861
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PMCID:
PMC1868602
Free PMC Article
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