The AKR mouse strain is characterized by a high incidence of spontaneous thymic lymphoma that appears in older animals (>6 months of age) and is associated with novel provirus integrations of ecotropic and recombinant murine leukemia viruses (MuLVs). Treatment of 4- to 6-week-old AKR/J mice with the carcinogen N-methyl-N-nitrosourea (MNU) results in thymic lymphomas that arise as early as 3 to 4 months of age and contain novel somatically acquired MuLV provirus integrations. The AKR/J strain develops MNU-induced lymphoma with a higher incidence and shorter latency than has been observed for other inbred mouse strains. To determine whether provirus integrations of endogenous MuLV account for the enhanced susceptibility of the AKR strain, the incidence and latency of MNU-induced lymphoma development was compared in AKR/J and AKR.Fv-1b mice. The restrictive b allele of the Fv-1 locus restricts integration and replication of endogenous N-tropic MuLV; therefore, AKR-Fv-1b mice have a very low incidence of spontaneous lymphoma. In contrast, AKR.Fv-1b mice develop MNU-induced lymphomas with an incidence and latency similar to those of the AKR/J strain. Furthermore, thymic lymphomas from both strains express an immature CD4-8+ phenotype, indicating neoplastic transformation of the same thymocyte subset. Southern blot analysis confirmed that lymphoma DNA from AKR.Fv-1b mice did not contain somatically acquired provirus integrations. These results demonstrate that provirus integration does not contribute to the predisposition of AKR mice to develop a high incidence of early MNU-induced lymphomas. Nevertheless, MNU treatment stimulated high-level expression of infectious ecotropic MuLV in AKR.Fv-1b as well as in AKR/J mice, suggesting that viral gene products might enhance lymphoma progression.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Insect Science