The mechanisms of endothelial cell damage that lead to cerebral hemorrhage are not completely understood. In this study, a cloned murine retrovirus, TR1.3, that uniformly induced stroke in neonatal BALB/c mice is described. Restriction digest mapping suggests that TR1.3 is part of the Friend murine leukemia virus (FMuLV) family. However, unlike mice exposed to other FMuLVs, mice infected with TR1.3 virus developed tremors and seizures within 8 to 18 days postinoculation. This was uniformly followed by paralysis and death within 1 to 2 days. Postmortem examination of TR1.3-inoculated mice revealed edematous brain tissue with large areas of intracerebral hemorrhage. Histologic analysis revealed prominent small vessel pathology including syncytium formation of endothelial cells. Immunohistochemical analysis of frozen brain sections using double fluorescence staining demonstrated that TR1.3 virus specifically infected small vessel endothelial cells. Although infection of vessel endothelial cells was detected in several organs, only brain endothelial cells displayed viral infection associated with hemorrhage. The primary determinant of TR1.3-induced neuropathogenicity was found to reside within a 3.0-kb fragment containing the 3′ end of the pol gene, the env gene, and the U3 region of the long terminal repeat. The restricted tropism and acute pathogenicity of this cloned murine retrovirus provide a model for studying virus-induced stroke and for elucidating the mechanisms involved in syncytium formation by retroviruses in vivo.
|Original language||English (US)|
|Number of pages||10|
|Journal||Journal of Virology|
|State||Published - Oct 1993|
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