Induction of the early stages of Friend erythroleukemia with helper-free Friend spleen focus-forming virus

S. A. Berger, N. Sanderson, A. Bernstein, W. D. Hankins

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22 Scopus citations


The polycythemia-inducing strain of Friend virus (FV-P) causes a multistage erythroleukemia in susceptible mice. FV-P is a complex of two viruses, a replication-competent virus [Friend murine leukemia virus (F-MuLV)] and a replication-defective spleen focus-forming virus (SFFVp). We have addressed directly the role of SFFVp in the induction of the early stages of Friend disease by constructing stocks of SFFVp free of detectable F-MuLV, using a recently described retroviral helper-cell line. These preparations are capable of inducing erythroid bursts (vBFU-E) whose inducibility, kinetics, and responsiveness to erythropoietin suggest that they are very similar, if not identical, to the vBFU-E induced by FV-P. Single injections of helper-free SFFVp had no apparent effects in vivo, although the addition of exogenous helper virus to the inoculum resulted in the induction of classic Friend disease. Increasing the effective titer by giving mice five daily virus injections resulted in the induction of splenomegaly and a large increase in the number of erythroid colony-forming units that were independent of erythropoietin. When the injections were discontinued, the spleens regressed and all the mice survived. When the injections were continued, all the mice died within 25 days of the first injection. These results demonstrate that SFFVp alone can alter the growth characteristics of erythroid progenitors and is directly responsible for the induction of vBFU-E in vitro and the erythroid hyperplasia in vivo. They also demonstrate that the initial polyclonal stage of Friend disease is reversible and can be reproduced by using preparations of SFFVp free of detectable F-MuLV.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)6913-6917
Number of pages5
JournalProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Issue number20
StatePublished - 1985
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General
  • Genetics


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