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Virology. 1986 Apr 15;150(1):276-82.

Viral antigen expression in the pancreas of DHBV-infected embryos and young ducks.


The time course of appearance of viral antigen-positive pancreatic cells was examined in both congenitally duck hepatitis B virus (DHBV)-infected duck embryos and experimentally DHBV-infected posthatch ducks. In the embryos, the earliest detectable viral antigen-positive pancreatic cells were localized to islets and identifiable as endocrine on the basis of hormone expression. Non-islet-associated, viral antigen-positive cells appeared at a late stage of embryogenesis, following the onset of chymotrypsinogen production by exocrine tissue; a number of these viral antigen-positive cells were directly identifiable as exocrine on the basis of chymotrypsinogen expression. By contrast, in the pancreas of experimentally infected posthatch ducks, the appearance of viral antigen-positive exocrine cells (chymotrypsinogen-positive) predated the appearance of antigen-positive islet cells. These results are consistent with the possibility that viral antigen expression in exocrine tissue is dependent on the state of cell maturation.

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