Animal models for the study of hepatitis C virus infection and replication.

Department of Medicine, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Boston, MA 02215, USA.
World Journal of Gastroenterology (Impact Factor: 2.55). 06/2012; 18(23):2909-13. DOI: 10.3748/wjg.v18.i23.2909
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Hepatitis C virus (HCV) hepatitis, initially termed non-A, non-B hepatitis, has become one of the leading causes of cirrhosis and hepatocellular carcinoma worldwide. With the help of animal models, our understanding of the virus has grown substantially from the time of initial discovery. There is a paucity of available animal models for the study of HCV, mainly because of the selective susceptibility limited to humans and primates. Recent work has focused modification of animals to permit HCV entry, replication and transmission. In this review, we highlight the currently available models for the study of HCV including chimpanzees, tupaia, mouse and rat models. Discussion will include methods of model design as well as the advantages and disadvantages of each model. Particular focus is dedicated to knowledge of pathophysiologic mechanisms of HCV infection that have been elucidated through animal studies. Research within animal models is critically important to establish a complete understanding of HCV infection, which will ultimately form the basis for future treatments and prevention of disease.

  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: The tree shrews (Tupaia belangeri) diverged from the primate order (Primates) and are classified as Scandentia, a separate taxonomic group of mammals. The tree shrew has been suggested to use an animal model to study human disease but the genomic sequences of tree shrew is largely unidentified. Here we identified the full-length cDNA sequence of a housekeeping gene, Glyceraldehyde 3-phosphate Dehydrogenase (GAPDH), in tree shrew. We further constructed a phylogenetic family tree base on GAPDH molecules of various organisms and compared GAPDH sequences with human and other small experimental animals. These study revealed that tree shrew was closer to human than mouse, rat, rabbit and guinea pig. The Quantitative Reverse Transcription PCR and western blot analysis further demonstrated that GAPDH expressed in various tissues in tree shrew as a general conservative housekeeping proteins as in human. Our findings provide the novel genetic knowledge of the tree shrew and strong evidences that tree shrew can be an experimental model system to study human disorders.
    PLoS ONE 01/2014; 9(6):e98552. · 3.53 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Hepatitis C Virus (HCV) is a serious global health problem, infecting almost 3% of the world's population. The lack of model systems for studying this virus limit research options in vaccine and therapeutic development, as well as for studying the pathogenesis of chronic HCV infection. Herein we make use of the liver-specific microRNA miR-122 to render mouse cell lines permissive to HCV replication in an attempt to develop additional model systems for the identification of new features of the virus and its life cycle. We have determined that some wild-type and knockout mouse cell lines - NCoA6 and PKR knockout embryonic fibroblasts - can be rendered permissive to transient HCV sub-genomic RNA replication upon addition of miR-122, but we did not observe replication of full-length HCV RNA in these cells. However, other wild-type and knockout cell lines cannot be rendered permissive to HCV replication by addition of miR-122, and in fact, different NCoA6 and PKR knockout cell line passages and isolates from the same mice demonstrated varying permissiveness phenotypes and eventually complete loss of permissiveness. When we tested knockdown of NCoA6 and PKR in Huh7.5 cells, we saw no substantial impact in sub-genomic HCV replication, which we would expect if these genes were inhibitory to the virus' life cycle. This leads us to conclude that along with the influence of specific gene knockouts there are additional factors within the cell lines that affect their permissiveness for HCV replication; we suggest that these may be epigenetically regulated, or modulated by cell line immortalization and transformation.
    PLoS ONE 01/2014; 9(2):e89971. · 3.53 Impact Factor
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Many behavioral, physiological, and anatomical studies utilize animal models to investigate human striatal pathologies. Although commonly used, rodent striatum may not present the optimal animal model for certain studies due to a lesser morphological complexity than that of non-human primates, which are increasingly restricted in research. As an alternative, the tree shrew could provide a beneficial animal model for studies of the striatum. The gross morphology of the tree shrew striatum resembles that of primates, with separation of the caudate and putamen by the internal capsule. The neurochemical anatomy of the ventral striatum, specifically the nucleus accumbens, has never been examined. This major region of the limbic system plays a role in normal physiological functioning and is also an area of interest for human striatal disorders. The current study uses immunohistochemistry of calbindin and tyrosine hydroxylase (TH) to determine the ultrastructural organization of the nucleus accumbens core and shell of the tree shrew (Tupaia glis belangeri). Stereology was used to quantify the ultrastructural localization of TH, which displays weaker immunoreactivity in the core and denser immunoreactivity in the shell. In both regions, synapses with TH-immunoreactive axon terminals were primarily symmetric and showed no preference for targeting dendrites versus dendritic spines. The results were compared to previous ultrastructural studies of TH and dopamine in rat and monkey nucleus accumbens. Tree shrew and monkey show no preference for the postsynaptic target in the shell, in contrast to rats which show a preference for synapsing with dendrites. Tree shrews have a ratio of asymmetric to symmetric synapses formed by TH-immunoreactive terminals that is intermediate between rats and monkey. The findings from this study support the tree shrew as an alternative model for studies of human striatal pathologies.
    Neuroscience 04/2014; · 3.12 Impact Factor


Available from