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Vet Microbiol. 2005 Apr 25;107(1-2):1-12.

Canine distemper virus associated proliferation of canine footpad keratinocytes in vitro.

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  • 1Institut für Tierpathologie, Vetsuisse Fakultät, Universität Bern, Bern, Switzerland.


Infection of canine footpads with canine distemper virus (CDV) can result in so-called hard pad disease characterized by footpad epidermal proliferation and hyperkeratosis. Cultured canine footpad keratinocytes (CFK) were inoculated with a virulent canine distemper virus strain (A75/17-CDV) to study the effects of CDV-infection on keratinocyte proliferation. Infection was analyzed by immunohistochemistry and in situ hybridization for CDV nucleoprotein (N-protein) antigen and mRNA. CDV caused a persistent, non-cytocidal infection with spread from single cells to infection of the confluent cell layer 7 days post infection (p.i.). Absolute cell numbers were significantly higher in infected cultures compared to control cultures from day 4 until day 6 p.i. Infected cultures contained significantly more total DNA on day 5 p.i. compared to controls. Immunohistochemical investigation of proliferation markers Ki67 and BrdU demonstrated a nearly two-fold increase in numbers of positive cells on day 5 p.i. compared to controls. These findings demonstrate that canine distemper virus infection of canine footpad keratinocytes in vitro was associated with proliferation.

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