Generation of a Nude Mouse Tumor Model for In Vivo Replication of Human Cytomegalovirus

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Human cytomegalovirus (HCMV) is a common opportunistic infection resulting in retinitis in 15%-40% of AIDS patients. Several anti-HCMV therapies are currently available, and new treatments are in various stages of development. An HCMV animal model involving in vivo infection of human cells without the dependence on human fetuses or multiple surgical procedures has been developed. A human glioblastoma cell line that is permissive for HCMV replication (U373MG) was adapted to grow as a subcutaneous tumor in nude mice. These tumors arise in ˜7 days and grow progressively. An evaluation of HCMV DNA replication demonstrated an increase in the accumulation of HCMV DNA within infected tumors from 48 to 168 h after infection. Immunohistochemical analysis showed focal areas of HCMV infection in which expression of immediate-early and late antigens was detected. In addition, it was demonstrated that ganciclovir inhibited HCMV DNA replication in vivo in a dose-dependent manner.

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