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Virology. 2012 Nov 25;433(2):385-94. doi: 10.1016/j.virol.2012.08.035. Epub 2012 Sep 15.

Murine skin and vaginal mucosa are similarly susceptible to infection by pseudovirions of different papillomavirus classifications and species.

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Laboratory of Cellular Oncology, Center for Cancer Research, National Cancer Institute, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, MD 20892, USA.


Depending upon viral genotype, productive papillomavirus infection and disease display preferential tropism for cutaneous or mucosal stratified squamous epithelia, although the mechanisms are unclear. To investigate papillomavirus entry tropism, we used reporter pseudovirions based on various cutaneous and mucosal papillomavirus species, including the recently identified murine papillomavirus. Pseudovirus transduction of BALB/c mice was examined using an improved murine skin infection protocol and a previously developed cervicovaginal challenge model. In the skin, HPV5, HPV6, HPV16, BPV1 and MusPV1 pseudovirions preferentially transduced keratinocytes at sites of trauma, similar to the genital tract. Skin infection, visualized by in vivo imaging using a luciferase reporter gene, peaked between days 2-3 and rapidly diminished for all pseudovirion types. Murine cutaneous and genital tissues were similarily permissive for pseudovirions of HPV types 5, 6, 8, 16, 18, 26, 44, 45, 51, 58 and animal papillomaviruses BPV1 and MusPV1, implying that papillomavirus' tissue and host tropism is governed primarily by post-entry regulatory events in the mouse.

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