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1/1. Canine distemper virus transcripts detected in the bone cells of dogs with metaphyseal osteopathy.

    Using the technique of in situ hybridisation, we have recently extended our observations that canine distemper virus (CDV) is present in the bone cells of patients with Paget's disease, and have shown that CDV is also detectable in the bone cells of dogs that are naturally infected with the virus. Since hybridisation was localised to bone cells within the metaphyses of the affected dogs, we investigated the possibility that CDV might be involved in the canine metaphyseal bone disorder, metaphyseal osteopathy. Bone samples from three cases of metaphyseal osteopathy were examined for the presence of the CDV nucleocapsid (CDV-N) gene and the measles virus nucleocapsid (MV-N) gene, using 35S-labelled sense and antisense riboprobes. As with our previous findings in Paget's disease of bone, only the antisense probe was found to hybridize to the osteoblasts and osteoclasts within the affected metaphyses. No hybridisation was seen with the CDV-N sense and MV-N probes in any of the samples tested. Bone samples were also taken from one of the cases to check for the presence of the CDV-N gene using the polymerase chain reaction (PCR). Our findings with in situ hybridisation were confirmed by PCR and subsequent Southern blotting and probing with a 32P-labelled cDNA probe. The detection of CDV rna within the bone cells of dogs with metaphyseal osteopathy suggests that this virus may be a cause of the disease and provides further, indirect evidence that CDV might be responsible for the bony abnormalities seen in Paget's disease of bone. ( info)

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