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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Interaction of viruses with human joint material Miki, Nancy Patricia Hana


An in vitro cell and organ culture system for the study of human arthrotropic viruses was established to determine the permissiveness of joint cells and tissue to five strains of rubella virus (RV), adenovirus type 2 (Ad) and human parvovirus (B19). A semi-continuous line of fetal chondrocytes (FC) and primary synovial membrane/cartilage (SMC) cells were used to investigate virus/joint cell interactions. In addition, the SMC cells were used to determine the ability of a virus to establish a persistent infection in cells of joint origin. Intact joint tissue containing both synovial membrane and cartilage was also infected to determine the ability of the viruses to replicate in non-dividing cells and also their invasive capability in the presence of an extracellular matrix. Results showed that all RV strains and Ad were able to replicate in FC, SMC cells and intact joint tissue. The only exception to this was that replication of RV strain Cendehill was not detected in joint tissue. In contrast, there was no indication, by either DNA-DNA hybridization or immunoperoxidase staining, that B19 was able to replicate in SMC cells. Most importantly, the behaviour of the rubella strains in this model was found to correlate with the clinical data concerning the incidence of complications associated with rubella infection or vaccination. This suggests that arthritogenicity is related to the ability of a particular virus to infect and persist in joint tissue and establishes the in vitro model as a useful system to evaluate the arthrotropicity of future rubella vaccines.

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