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Murid herpesvirus-4 induces chronic inflammation of intrahepatic bile ducts in mice deficient in gamma-interferon signalling

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)187-194
Number of pages8
JournalHepatology Research
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2009


Aim: Infection of gamma interferon receptor defective mice with murid herpesvirus-4 also known as murine gammaherpesvirus-68 results in multi-organ fibrosis. In this paper we characterise the pathological changes occurring in the liver in this model.

Methods: Standard immunohistochemistry and in situ hybridisation techniques were used to identify the cellular changes and the presence of virus at different times post infection.

Results: In liver sections from infected gamma interferon receptor defective mice sampled on day 16 to at least day 120, 79% showed proliferating intrahepatic bile ducts associated with a chronic mononuclear cell inflammation. Only 8% of wild type mice showed similar lesions. Coincident with the inflammatory response bile duct epithelial cells were positive for arginase 1. Around day 50 post infection onwards focal fibrotic lesions appeared in approximately 30% of gamma interferon receptor defective mice resulting in destruction of intrahepatic bile ducts. In contrast to the chronic persisting inflammatory response the presence of virus infected cells were only observed between day 12-20 post-infection.

Conclusion: Infection of gamma interferon receptor defective mice with a murine gammaherpesvirus initiates a chronic persisting inflammatory response with a pathological profile similar to the human fibrotic liver disorder Primary Sclerosing Cholangitis.

    Research areas

  • arginase , cholangitis , gamma interferon, gamma herpes virus

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