Radiation-Induced Murine Leukemias and Endogenous Retroviruses: The Time Course of Viral Expression
Ionizing radiation is well known to be a potent inducer of leukemias in animals and man (for review see UNSCEAR report 19). The mouse has been most frequently chosen to elucidate the factors and mechanisms necessary for leukemia development by irradiation. In the mouse the association of radiation-induced lymphoblastic leukemias with retroviruses has been detected which has led to the concept of an etiologic involvement of endogenous retroviruses in the induction of this disease. This concept implies the activation by radiation of endogenous, genetically inherited retrovirus sequences which acquire oncogenic properties and then transform their specific target cells (Kaplan 1977). This concept has been supported by the isolation of leukemogenic viruses from radiation-induced lymphoblastic leukemias (Gross 1958; Lieberman and Kaplan 1959). But recent work from several laboratories has brought contradicting results. At the moment there is no sufficient experimental evidence to decide whether endogenous retroviruses play a major role in the induction of radiation-induced leukemias.
KeywordsIrradiate Animal UNSCEAR Report Ecotropic Murine Leukemia Virus Ecotropic Virus Mink Lung Cell
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