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Open Access Nucleic Acid Deletions and Copy Number in Rats

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Rats fed either a cereal-based or purified diet of variable folate content (deficient, replete, or supplemented) inadvertently were infected with sialodacryoadenitis virus, which resulted in an increased frequency of hepatic mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) deletions that persisted for three weeks after the period of acute signs of disease. The amount of the "common deletion" (4.8 kb, bases 8103–12937) in liver was measured by quantitative co-amplification of the mitochondrial D-loop and the mitochondrial deletion, using a real-time quantitative polymerase chain reaction assay. The relative abundance of mtDNA was determined by co-amplifying mitochondrial D-loop versus the rat -actin gene. Virus-infected rats had more mtDNA deletions (P < 0.0001) and higher copy number (P < 0.0001) than did uninfected animals. There was no effect of diet on frequency of deletions. Diet affected mtDNA relative abundance in the infected, but not the uninfected rats. Relative abundance was higher (P = 0.004) in rats of the high folate group than in rats of the low-folate or folate-replete groups, and was significantly higher in rats of the cereal diet group than that in those of the purified diet group. In conclusion, sialodacryoadenitis virus infection in rats was associated with increased frequency of hepatic mtDNA deletions. Thus, sialodacryoadenitis virus infection mitigated biological processes in the liver of rats, and mtDNA damage was modulated by diet.

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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Department of Medicine, University of Vermont, Bington, Vermont 05405; The Vermont Cancer Center, University of Vermont, Burlington, Vermont 05405 2: The Vermont Cancer Center, University of Vermont, Bington, Vermont 05405 3: Medical Biostatistics, University of Vermont, Bington, Vermont 05405 4: Animal Care Management, University of Vermont, Bington, Vermont 05405

Publication date: August 1, 2002

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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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