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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Duck hepatitis B virus replication in primary bile duct epithelial cells.

Primary cultures of intrahepatic bile duct epithelial (IBDE) cells isolated from duckling livers were successfully grown for studies of duck hepatitis B virus (DHBV). The primary IBDE cells were characterized by immunohistochemistry using CAM 5.2, a cytokeratin marker which was shown to react specifically to IBDE cells in duck liver tissue sections and in primary cultures of total duck liver cells. Immunofluorescence assay using anti-duck albumin, a marker for hepatocytes, revealed that these IBDE cultures did not appear to contain hepatocytes. A striking feature of these cultures was the duct-like structures present within each cell colony of multilayered IBDE cells. Normal duck serum in the growth medium was found to be essential for the development of these cells into duct-like structures. When the primary cultures of duck IBDE cells were acutely infected with DHBV, dual-labeled confocal microscopy using a combination of anti-DHBV core proteins and CAM 5.2 or a combination of anti-pre-S1 proteins and CAM 5.2 revealed that the IBDE cell colonies contained DHBV proteins. Immunoblot analysis of these cells showed that the DHBV pre-S1 and core proteins were similar to their counterparts in infected primary duck hepatocyte cultures. Southern blot analysis of infected IBDE preparations using a digoxigenin-labeled positive-sense DHBV riboprobe revealed the presence of hepadnavirus covalently closed circular (CCC) DNA, minus-sense single-stranded (SS) DNA, double-stranded linear DNA, and relaxed circular DNA. The presence of minus-sense SS DNA in the acutely infected IBDE cultures is indicative of DHBV reverse transcriptase activity, while the establishment of a pool of viral CCC DNA reveals the ability of these cells to maintain persistent infection. Taken collectively, the results from this study demonstrated that primary duck IBDE cells supported hepadnavirus replication as shown by the de novo synthesis of DHBV proteins and DNA replicative intermediates.[1]


  1. Duck hepatitis B virus replication in primary bile duct epithelial cells. Lee, J.Y., Culvenor, J.G., Angus, P., Smallwood, R., Nicoll, A., Locarnini, S. J. Virol. (2001) [Pubmed]
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