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Archives



Mice of Black / 6 Lineage and MPV


Prepared by Dr. Michael Huerkamp


A rumor that was initiated on a transgenic listserver and that has been swirling around here since early August has been that C57BL/6 (aka B6) mice had an idiosyncratic tendency to not produce antibodies to MPV after infection. I have spoken to investigators at the University of Missouri and Yale University who have done extensive research with MPV and neither could corroborate that this rumor has much basis in fact. The rumor seems to be related to a single set of unpublished pathogenesis experiments involving a number of mouse strains, including B6, and terminated by design at day 10 post-infection. The B6 mice used in these studies (n=5) did not seroconvert by 10 days post-infection. C3H mice seroconverted quickly, but DBA and A strain mice were also poor responders over 10 days. It should be noted, however, that it typically takes 7-21 days for an immunocompetent mouse to seroconvert following infection and this is dependent upon the genotype of the mouse and strain and quantity of virus, among other factors. It should also be noted that the aforementioned study was directed at studying viral pathogenesis and not assessing diagnostic antibody response. Up to 6 weeks may be necessary to obtain an MPV seroconversion in mice. Little other research has been done specifically with MPV infection in B6 mice; BALB/c and SENCAR mice have been used most commonly.

Intuitively, one would expect that an immunocompetent strain, such as B6, given an infectious inoculum and sufficient time would develop a detectable antibody titer. In fact, the B6 strain is noted to be a very robust antibody responder to many infectious agents. They are, for example, more sensitive in converting to MHV seropositivity than C3H, BALB/c or DBA/2 mice (Lab Animals 17: 90-4, 1983; Lab Animals 25: 106-9, 1991) and are noted to show a profound antibody response to ectromelia virus (Bacteriol Rev 23: 61-95, 1959). It seems incongruous that B6 mice would produce antibodies to so many pathogens, but not MPV. Consequently, we believe that B6 mice infected with MPV should develop serum antibody that will be detectable diagnostically. We thus believe that serologic assessments of B6 mice from our colonies were valid and useful.