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Cancer Res. 1977 Mar;37(3):718-20.

Differential neurooncogenicity of strains of JC virus, a human polyoma virus, in newborn Syrian hamsters.


The neurooncogenicity recently isolated strains of the human polyoma virus, JC virus, was determined by intracerebral inoculation of newborn Syrian golden hamsters. All three strains produced malignant brain tumors in a majority of inoculated animals during a 6.5-month observation period. The results obtained with the MAD-2 strain, 19 of 20 animals with cerebellar medulloblastomas and 0 of 20 animals with pineal gland tumors, were quite similar to those observed previously with the prototypic strain of JC virus, MAD-1. Inoculation of the MAD-4 strain, however, resulted in 10 of 22 animals with pineal gland tumors and only 10 of 22 animals with tumors in the cerebellum. The MAD-3 strain was neurooncogenic, but too few animals lived to be weaned to provide significant additional information. The basis for the apparent predilection of the MAD-4 strain for the pineal gland is unknown. Two hamsters in the experiment developed extracranial neuroblastomas.

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