Differentiation of wild boar and domestic pig populations based on the frequency of chromosomes carrying endogenous retroviruses
The prevalence of porcine endogenous retrovirus (PERV) proviral DNA among various pig breeds raised in Japan was investigated by polymerase chain reaction (PCR). Moreover, potential infection of PERV was investigated by PCR and reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) in experimentally induced diabetic dogs (n=5) implanted with the diffusion chamber type bio-artificial endocrine pancreas (Bio-AEP) containing porcine pancreatic endocrine (PE) cells. No immunosuppressant was used after the transplantation. PERV gag, pol, env-A and env-B genes were detected in any pigs examined. In two of three Landrace breeds, env-C gene was absent. PERV proviral DNAs and viral RNAs were also detected from the cultured porcine PE-cells. In the peripheral blood mononuclear cells and the spleen obtained at 6, 30, 32, 36, 79 weeks of xenotransplantation in dogs, however, no evidence of microchimerism, infection and viremia were confirmed. These results suggested that the risk of PERV infection through xenotransplantation of Bio-AEP containing porcine islet cells without immunosuppressants may be quite low.