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J Virol Methods. 2004 Jan;115(1):99-104.

Immunological factors that affect the in vivo fate of T7 phage in the mouse.

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Blood and Marrow Transplantation Division, Department of Medicine, Pediatrics and Family and Preventive Medicine, School of Medicine, University of California-San Diego, 9500 Gilman Drive, La Jolla, CA 92093-0062, USA.


Phage display is a powerful method to study organ and tissue specific addresses. As part of our studies on the in vivo panning of tissue-homing peptide libraries, we examined the survival of T7 phage in the blood of C57BL/6J mice to estimate the half-life of T7 phage and the factors responsible for its inactivation. Amplified and purified T7 phage particles with or without random peptide library inserts were injected intravenously into the tail vein of wild-type (C57BL/6J) and immunocompromized (C57BL/6J) female mice. In wild-type mice, both the parent phage as well as phage carrying a peptide library were eliminated quickly from the blood, with only approximately 1% survival of detectable infectious phage after 60 min of injection. In SCID (C57BL/6J-Prkdc(scid)) mice, phage titers were stable over the same period of time with or without peptide library, suggesting a role for either B- or T cells or both in phage inactivation. The presumed role of B cell was indicated by demonstration of stable phage in the B-cell deficient mouse (C57BL/10-Igh-6(tm1Cgn)). In other immunocompromized mice, the phage titers were unstable, similar to that found in wild-type mice. In no case, was there a difference between phage with or without random peptide library. These data indicate that the presence of random C-X7-C peptides on the T7 phage coat protein does not affect the clearance of the phage in murine blood. Most likely, host immune factors play a role in the neutralization of T7 phage in blood by reacting with B-cell dependent immunoglobin.

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