The mechanism by which non-oncogene-bearing, slowly transforming retroviruses induce leukemia is not well understood, but appears to represent a multi-step process. Cell lines have been isolated following in vitro infection of lymphoid cells with radiation leukemia virus (RadLV) and they have been used to develop a two-step model for leukemia development. Thymic tumors were induced when one of the cell lines, C1-V13D, was inoculated into CBA/H mouse thymus. Upon reisolation of C1-V13D cells after one, two and three passages through thymus, individual cloned cell lines displayed increased tumorigenic potential compared with the non-tumorigenic parental line. Southern analysis has been used to track any genetic changes occurring while cells undergo further transformation and become increasingly tumorigenic. Specifically, retrovirus integration has been monitored in clones derived from C1-V13D at the primary, secondary and tertiary passage through thymus using probes specific for long terminal repeat (LTR), gag, pol and env genes of RadLV. The data indicate multiple ecotropic retrovirus integration sites in C1-V13D cells. Primary thymic tumors also showed the integration of a new recombinant or defective virus. There was no evidence that new ecotropic retrovirus integration had occurred during subsequent passage of primary tumors through the thymus, i.e. during the progression to oncogenesis. All data indicate an important role for the thymic environment in the development of a fully transformed cell.
|Number of pages||12|
|Publication status||Published - Jul 1994|