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World J Gastroenterol. 2004 Nov 1;10(21):3141-5.

Replication and gene expression of mutant hepatitis B virus in a transgenic mouse containing the complete viral genome with mutant s gene.

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Department of Pathology, Changzheng Hospital, Second Military Medical University, Shanghai 200003, China. gerllini@



To establish the transgenic mouse line harbouring complete hepatitis B virus (HBV) genome with mutant s gene (adr subtype).


Transgenic mice were generated by microinjecting HBV genome into fertilized eggs. Integration, expression, replication of HBV gene and histological changes in transgenic mice were estimated by genomic DNA PCR, serum DNA PCR, Southern blot, ELISA, HE staining, immunohistochemistry and transmission electron microscopy. Transgenic mice with HBsAg positive in serum were bred and analyzed.


A total of 288 eggs survived from microinjections were transplanted into the oviducts of 13 pseudopregnant mice and 49 pups were produced. Twenty-six mice were identified to have the integrated HBV gene. Serum HBsAg and HBeAg were detected in 2 of 43 mice. HBsAg and HBcAg in cytoplasm or nuclei of hepatocytes were detected in 10 mice. Founders with HBsAg in serum were named lineages G145R-15 and G145R-18. Of the 16 F1 offsprings generated by G145R-15 founder, 12 were positive for HBV genome with PCR, 10 were positive for HBsAg and HBcAg with immunohistochemistry and 7 were positive for HBsAg and HBeAg with ELISA. Only 1 of 8 F1 offsprings generated by G145R-18 founder was survived and it was detected positive for HBV genome, HBsAg, HBcAg and HBeAg. Both of the two lineages had some pathological characteristics of mild chronic hepatitis B in the liver, such as swelling of hepatocytes and focal hepatocellular necrosis and parenchymal lymphomononuclear cell infiltrate.


Transgenic mice harbouring HBV with mutant s gene can be generated. The HBV genes are integrated in the transgenic mice genome and can be expressed, replicated, packaged and excreted. HBV DNA can be stably transmitted in the transgenic mice.

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