Faculty Research 1990 - 1999


Transplacental transmission of a leukemogenic murine leukemia virus.

Document Type


Publication Date



Blotting-Southern, Crosses-Genetic, DNA-Viral: ge, Electrophoresis-Agar-Gel, Embryo-Transfer, Female, Leukemia-Experimental: mi, Maternal-Fetal-Exchange, Mice, Mice-Inbred-C3H, Mice-Inbred-C57BL, Mice-Inbred-Strains, Milk: mi, Mouse-Leukemia-Viruses, Pregnancy, Pregnancy-Complications-Infectious: mi, Recombination-Genetic, Species-Specificity, SUPPORT-U-S-GOVT-P-H-S

JAX Source

J Virol 1993 Oct;67(10):6105-9


CA34196/CA/NCI, CA31102/CA/NCI


Recombinant inbred BXH-2 mice spontaneously produce a B-tropic murine leukemia virus (MuLV) beginning early in life and have a high incidence of spontaneous myeloid leukemia. These traits are not characteristic of the progenitor strains (C57BL/6J and C3H/HeJ) or of 11 other recombinant inbred BXH strains. Genetic analysis has shown that the virus is not transmitted through the germ line, suggesting that the virus is passed from one generation to the next by horizontal transmission. An additional ecotropic proviral locus was detected in some mice of this strain after several generations of inbreeding. We show that BXH ecotropic virus was transmitted to other strains when fostered on viremic BXH-2 mice and that these mice go on to develop tumors of hematopoietic origin. Our earlier finding that virus is expressed early in gestation suggested that the ecotropic MuLV is also transmitted in utero. In order to determine the stage at which the ecotropic MuLV is transmitted in utero, preimplantation stage embryos were transferred to the uteri of recipient ecotropic virus-negative mice. These mice were found to be negative for the presence of the ecotropic MuLV, suggesting that transplacental transmission of the ecotropic virus readily occurs in BXH-2 mice. Although other viruses, including human lentiviruses, are transmitted across the placental barrier, transplacental transmission of MuLV is a rare event. Thus, the BXH-2 mouse strain may contribute to our understanding of the mechanism of transplacental transmission and pathogenesis and offers a potential new model for use in drug therapy of exogenously transmitted viruses related to lentiviruses.