Influence of Bursectomy on Bone Growth and Anemia Induced by Avian Osteopetrosis Viruses

Joseph A. Price, Ralph E. Smith

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13 Scopus citations


This study examines the contribution of the bursa of Fabricius to the pathogenic manifestations of two myeloblastosis-asso-ciated viruses which primarily cause osteopetrosis [MAV-1(O) and MAV-2(O)]. MAV-2(O) infection of surgically bursecto-mized 1-month-old chicks resulted in a rapidly fatal anemia, whereas infection of untreated chicks of the same age reulted in a transient drop in hematocrit. Surgical bursectomy of embryos before or after embryonal infection with MAV-2(O) did not alter the course of osteopetrosis, indicating that the bursa was not a source of target cells. Bursectomy prolonged the period of susceptibility to MAV-2(O) induced osteopetrosis until one day posthatching; untreated chicks were not susceptible to osteopetrosis induction at that age. MAV-1(O) infection of eight-day-old bursectomized chicks resulted in osteopetrosis in the absence of anemia; untreated eight-day-old chicks infected with MAV-1(O) showed no effects of virus infection. A role for the bursa in MAV-2(O) infection was found in the participation of neutralizing antibodies in the recovery from anemia. A single dose of antiviral antibody was found to prevent the appearance of anemia. The protective effect of antiviral antibody was dose dependent, and antiserum administration had to be initiated within three days after virus in order to be effective. Antiviral antibody against MAV-1(O) did not protect against MAV-2(O)-induced anemia, suggesting subgroup specificity. These results suggest that the bursa does not provide a stem cell which participates in the bone hyperplasia induced by MAV-1(O) and MAV-2(O). Rather, the humoral antibodies provided by cells derived from the bursa may serve to eliminate viremia and limit virus-specific cytopathogenic effects.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)752-759
Number of pages8
JournalCancer Research
Issue number3
StatePublished - 1 Mar 1981


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