Lack of ecotropic virus involvement in induction of lymphomas in DBA/2J mice by 7,12-dimethylbenz(a)anthracene

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DBA/2 mice carry a single endogenous ecotropic murine leukemia provirus, Emv-3, that is replication defective because of a single nucleotide substitution in codon 3 of p15gag. However, when weanling DBA/2 mice are treated percutaneously with 7,12-dimethylbenz(a)anthracene (DMBA), ecotropic virus replication is induced in almost all of the treated mice. Previous studies have shown that this induction results from DMBA-induced reverse mutations in codon 3 that allow efficient virus replication. In addition to ecotropic virus replication, DMBA also induces lymphomas in 100% of the treated mice. These results have raised the possibility that ecotropic virus replication is causally associated with the development of lymphomas in DBA/2 mice, perhaps via the insertional activation or mutation of cellular proto-oncogenes. To test this possibility, we compared lymphoma incidence after percutaneous DMBA treatment in DBA/2J-dv/dv mice, which carry two copies of Emv-3, with lymphoma incidence in DB\/2J-d+18J/d+18J mice, which lost both copies of Emv-3 by homologous recombination involving the long terminal repeat sequences. The results of this study conclusively demonstrated that Emv-3 is not causally associated with the development of DMBA-induced lymphomas in DBA/2J mice. Interestingly, histopathological and molecular analyses of the lymphomas indicated that the majority of the lymphomas in both strains of mice were of the B-cell lineage. This was unanticipated, since the majority of chemically induced lymphomas in other inbred strains are thymic lymphomas, presumably of the T-cell lineage. Thus, DBA/2 mice appear to present a unique model system for the investigation of chemically induced B-cell lymphomas in mice.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)5199-5203
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of virology
Issue number10
StatePublished - 1990

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Microbiology
  • Immunology
  • Insect Science
  • Virology


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