Genetic restriction of murine hepatitis virus type 3 expression in liver and brain: comparative study in BALB/c and C3H mice by immunochemistry and hybridization in situ

Arch Virol. 1993;130(3-4):269-77. doi: 10.1007/BF01309659.


To study the host-dependent genetic variations in murine hepatitis virus type 3 (MHV 3) induced diseases, we localized the sites of MHV 3 (Mill Hill strain) expression within liver and brain by immunohistochemistry or hybridization in situ. Two strains of mice were studied: BALB/c mice, which develop an acute and lethal hepatitis and C3H mice which develop a chronic brain infection. In BALB/c mice, viral RNA and antigens appeared during the first 24h post infection (p.i.) in liver, whereas viral RNA was barely detectable in brain, up until death at day 3 p.i. In C3H mice, viral RNA and antigens were detected simultaneously in liver and brain only at day 2 p.i. In brain, the virus was detected in meningeal and ependymal cells and in perivascular cortical areas (days 5 and 7 p.i.). After day 49, the virus was no longer detected in brain parenchyma, but persisted in meningeal cells. Two host-dependent genetic differences in viral processing were observed in the liver: (1) the virus was first detected in Kupffer cells in BALB/c mice and mostly in hepatocytes in C3H mice; (2) in BALB/c mice, the 180 kDa S viral glycoprotein appeared more frequently cleaved in 90 kDa form than in C3H mice.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Brain / microbiology*
  • Coronaviridae Infections / genetics*
  • Genetic Predisposition to Disease
  • Hepatitis, Viral, Animal / genetics*
  • Immunoenzyme Techniques
  • In Situ Hybridization
  • Liver / microbiology*
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred BALB C
  • Mice, Inbred C3H
  • Murine hepatitis virus / isolation & purification*
  • Species Specificity