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Open Access Guinea Pig Adenovirus Infection Does Not Inhibit Cochlear Transfection with Human Adenoviral Vectors in a Model of Hearing Loss

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Routine surveillance of guinea pigs maintained within a barrier facility detected guinea pig adenovirus (GPAdV) in sentinel animals. These guinea pigs served as models of induced hearing loss followed by regeneration of cochlear sensory (hair) cells through transdifferentiation of nonsensory cells by using human adenoviral (hAV) gene therapy. To determine whether natural GPAdV infection affected the ability of hAV vectors to transfect inner ear cells, adult male pigmented guinea pigs (n = 7) were enrolled in this study because of their prolonged exposure to GPAdV-seropositive conspecifics. Animals were deafened chemically (n = 2), received an hAV vector carrying the gene for green fluorescent protein (hAV-GFP) surgically without prior deafening (n = 2), or were deafened chemically with subsequent surgical inoculation of hAV-GFP (n = 3). Cochleae were evaluated by using fluorescence microscopy, and GFP expression in supporting cells indicated that the hAV-GFP vector was able to transfect inner ears in GPAdV-seropositive guinea pigs that had been chemically deafened. Animals had histologic evidence of interstitial pneumonia, attributable to prior infection with GPAdV. These findings confirmed that the described guinea pigs were less robust animal models with diminished utility for the overall studies. Serology tests confirmed that 5 of 7 animals (71%) were positive for antibodies against GPAdV at necropsy, approximately 7 mo after initial detection of sentinel infection. Control animals (n = 5) were confirmed to be seronegative for GPAdV with clinically normal pulmonary tissue. This study is the first to demonstrate that natural GPAdV infection does not negatively affect transfection with hAV vectors into guinea pig inner ear cells, despite the presence of other health complications attributed to the viral infection.

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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: University Laboratory Animal Resources, Department of Pathobiology, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 2: Unit for Laboratory Animal Medicine, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Michigan; Veterinary Services, Covance Laboratories, Madison, Wisconsin 3: Unit for Laboratory Animal Medicine, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Michigan 4: Kresge Hearing Research Institute, Department of Otolaryngology, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Michigan

Publication date: 2010-04-01

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  • 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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