Experimental adenovirus infection of the mouse adrenal gland. II. Electron microscopic observations

Am J Pathol. 1974 May;75(2):375-94.


A strain of mouse adenovirus, found to have a striking tropism for the weanling mouse adrenal gland, enabled electron microscopic examination of adrenals in various stages of infection. Nucleolar hypertrophy and the successive formation of three types of inclusion bodies in association with nucleoli preceded virion production. Angular crystals of virions formed in the affected nuclei. Virus was released by lysis of nuclear membranes; rapid degeneration of cytoplasmic organelles followed. Rupture of external cell membranes released virus into the extracellular spaces where virions crossed vascular basement membranes to enter endothelial cells. Virions were also phagocytized by inflammatory cells which reentered vascular sinusoids, and by adrenal parenchymal cells. Disruption of virus-laden phagocytic vacuoles in parenchymal cells released virions into the cytoplasm. Typical viral inclusion bodies also formed in vascular endothelial cells and in inflammatory cells, but virion replication was not detected. The possibility that virus directly entered parenchymal cells through the external cell membrane without phagocytosis is discussed.

MeSH terms

  • Adenoviridae Infections / pathology*
  • Adrenal Gland Diseases / pathology*
  • Adrenal Glands / pathology*
  • Adrenal Medulla / microbiology
  • Adrenal Medulla / pathology
  • Animals
  • Basement Membrane / microbiology
  • Cell Membrane / microbiology
  • Cell Nucleolus
  • Cell Nucleus / microbiology
  • Cytoplasm / microbiology
  • Disease Models, Animal
  • Endothelium / cytology
  • Hypertrophy
  • Inclusion Bodies, Viral
  • Membranes / microbiology
  • Mice
  • Microscopy, Electron
  • Organoids
  • Phagocytosis