Author(s): Hamamdzic D, Harley RA, HazenMartin D, LeRoy EC
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Abstract BACKGROUND: CMV infections have been linked to vasculopathies like atherosclerosis and Scleroderma. CMV infects vascular endothelium with intermittent shedding of the virus and the development of latency. METHODS: We adopted a model of arteritis, developed by Presti et al. (1998), triggered by murine cytomegalovirus (MCMV) infection. Our studies focused on neointima formation. Groups of mice include: 1) immunocompetent 129S, 2) immunocompetent 129S receiving whole body irradiation and MCMV, 3) IFN-gammaR-/- receiving MCMV, and 4) IFN-gammaR-/- receiving MCMV and whole body irradiation. RESULTS: Mice were inoculated with MCMV (5 x 10(4) or 1 x 10(5) PFU's) by i.p. injection; hearts and abdominal aortas were collected and histopathology evaluated. Infected immunocompetent animals exhibited widespread perivascular inflammation, which subsided by 8 weeks. Intimal pathology was not observed in any control group. Immunocompetent animals receiving MCMV and irradiation developed mild to moderate intimal lesions associated with medial and adventitial inflammation. IFN-gammaR-/- mice infected for 4 months and receiving whole body irradiation 2 months after infection developed pathology characterized by extensive adventitial and medial infiltrate and significant neointima, suggesting that infection and immunosuppression were co-requisites of neointima formation. Immunohistochemical analysis revealed myofibroblasts as a major component of neointima. The disease is characterized by up-regulation of growth factors (TGF-beta1, PDGF-A and B). Apoptosis was detected in the intimal layer of affected aortas. Active proliferation of myofibroblasts and infiltrating cells was also detected. CONCLUSION: These results indicate that CMV infections may lead to intimal injury that results in the formation of neointima characteristic of autoimmune vasculopathies.
This article was published in BMC Musculoskelet Disord
and referenced in Journal of Gastrointestinal & Digestive System