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Woodchuck Hepatic Cell Lines Immortalized by Treatment with Lipopolysaccharides

Docket Number D2637


Hepatocytes exhibit a limited life span when cultured in vitro and traditionally cannot be passaged. Primary cultures can be immortalized by treatment with chemical carcinogens or via transformation with viral oncogenes. Here, researchers have immortilzed woodchuck hepatocytes with lipopolysaccharide. These cells retain their differentiated properties, including synthesis of plasma proteins and permissiveness to infection with Bovine Viral Diarrhea Virus (BVDV). Viral infection was characterized by classical indicators, including cytopathic effectsm non-structural viral proteins, intracellular viral RNA, infectious progeny viruses.


There are no available in vitro hepatocyte culture models that are permissive to the complete reproductive cycle of the Flaviviridea family of animal viruses (flaviviruses, pestiviruses, and hepatitis C viruses). These immortalized woodchuck hepatic cells can be used as an assay to screen for antivirals against these animal viruses.

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