We recently reported the induction of murine endogenous retroviruses (murine AIDS-related) in several distant organs of mice after burn injury. The regulation of endogenous retroviruses in response to burn injury was further investigated in the thymus. Female C57BLKS/J mice were subjected to 18% total body surface area flame burn injury. Thymus tissues collected at several time points (3 h to 7 days) were analyzed for the expression of subgenomic transcripts of murine endogenous retroviruses by RT-PCR. Interestingly, a novel 1.7-Kb subgenomic transcript and a recently described 1.1 Kb subgenomic transcript of murine endogenous retroviruses were transiently down-regulated in the thymus at day 1 after injury. The 1.7 Kb transcript has a coding potential for a truncated form of the envelope protein (total 214 amino acids) with a deletion of 418 amino acids near the C-terminus. The second transcript of 1.1 Kb has an open reading frame for the C-terminal transmembrane domain of the envelope protein including the p2E protein (R peptide). These data suggest the pathophysiologic effects of burn injury on the differential expression of murine endogenous retroviruses in the thymus after injury.
- Endogenous retroviruses
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