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Open Access Effects of Murine Norovirus Infection on a Mouse Model of Diet-Induced Obesity and Insulin Resistance

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Murine norovirus (MNV) is prevalent in SPF mouse facilities in the United States, and we currently lack sufficient data to determine whether it should be eliminated. It is generally accepted that the virus does not cause clinical symptoms in immuno-competent mice. However, we previously reported that MNV infection alters the phenotype of a mouse model of bacteria-induced inflammatory bowel disease in part through its effects on dendritic cells. The tropism of MNV toward macrophages and dendritic cells makes MNV a potential intercurrent variable in murine models of macrophage-driven inflammatory diseases, such as obesity, insulin resistance, and atherosclerosis. Therefore, we determined whether MNV infection altered obesity and insulin resistance phenotypes in C57BL/6 mice, a widely used model of diet-induced obesity. We found that MNV did not alter weight gain, food intake, and glucose metabolism in this model, but it did induce subtle changes in lymphoid tissue. Further studies using other models of metabolic diseases are needed to provide additional information on the potential role this 'subclinical' virus might have on disease progression in mouse models of inflammatory diseases.

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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Department of Comparative Medicine, The University of Washington, Seattle, Washington 2: Department of Comparative Medicine, The University of Washington, Seattle, Washington. Email: [email protected]

Publication date: 2010-06-01

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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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