Mice Transgenic for Human Angiotensin-converting Enzyme 2 Provide a Model for SARS Coronavirus Infection
Abstract:To establish a small animal model of severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS), we developed a mouse model of human severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus (SARS-CoV) infection by introducing the human gene for angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (hACE2) (the cellular receptor of SARS-CoV), driven by the mouse ACE2 promoter, into the mouse genome. The hACE2 gene was expressed in lung, heart, kidney, and intestine. We also evaluated the responses of wild-type and transgenic mice to SARS-CoV inoculation. At days 3 and 7 postinoculation, SARS-CoV replicated more efficiently in the lungs of transgenic mice than in those of wild-type mice. In addition, transgenic mice had more severe pulmonary lesions, including interstitial hyperemia and hemorrhage, monocytic and lymphocytic infiltration, protein exudation, and alveolar epithelial cell proliferation and desquamation. Other pathologic changes, including vasculitis, degeneration, and necrosis, were found in the extrapulmonary organs of transgenic mice, and viral antigen was found in brain. Therefore, transgenic mice were more susceptible to SARS-CoV than were wild-type mice, and susceptibility was associated with severe pathologic changes that resembled human SARS infection. These mice will be valuable for testing potential vaccine and antiviral drug therapies and for furthering our understanding of SARS pathogenesis.
Document Type: Miscellaneous
Publication date: October 1, 2007
Comparative Medicine (CM), an international journal of comparative and experimental medicine, is the leading English-language publication in the field and is ranked by the Science Citation Index in the upper third of all scientific journals. The mission of CM is to disseminate high-quality, peer-reviewed information that expands biomedical knowledge and promotes human and animal health through the study of laboratory animal disease, animal models of disease, and basic biologic mechanisms related to disease in people and animals.
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