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author:("jamar, C.")
1.  Effect of a Combination of Clevudine and Emtricitabine with Adenovirus-Mediated Delivery of Gamma Interferon in the Woodchuck Model of Hepatitis B Virus Infection 
Our aim was to evaluate the antiviral effect of a combination of two nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitors, emtricitabine (FTC) and clevudine (L-FMAU), with the addition of an adenovirus-driven delivery of recombinant gamma interferon (IFN-γ) in the woodchuck model of hepatitis B virus infection. Six woodchuck hepatitis virus (WHV)-infected woodchucks received L-FMAU (10 mg/kg) plus FTC (30 mg/kg) intraperitoneally for 8 weeks; six other animals received in addition an intravenous injection of a recombinant adenovirus vector expressing woodchuck IFN-γ (Ad-IFN) at weeks 4 and 8. In the control group, two animals received Ad-IFN alone, two received adenovirus vector expressing the green fluorescent protein reporter gene, and one remained untreated. In less than 2 weeks, all woodchucks that received L-FMAU plus FTC showed a rapid and marked inhibition of viral replication, with a 4-log10 drop in serum WHV DNA. In two animals, viremia remained suppressed for several months after the end of treatment. Similarly, a dramatic decrease in intrahepatic replicative intermediates of viral DNA was observed in the L-FMAU/FTC-treated groups. The additional administration of Ad-IFN led to increased inflammation in the liver but did not enhance the antiviral effect of the L-FMAU/FTC combination. In conclusion, therapies combining L-FMAU and FTC in WHV-infected woodchucks resulted in a potent and sustained antihepadnaviral effect both in the liver and in the blood circulation. However, no extra benefit of adding IFN-γ gene transduction to the L-FMAU/FTC combination could be detected.
doi:10.1128/AAC.48.7.2683-2692.2004
PMCID: PMC434178  PMID: 15215126
2.  Antiviral Activity of β-l-2′,3′-Dideoxy-2′,3′-Didehydro-5-Fluorocytidine in Woodchucks Chronically Infected with Woodchuck Hepatitis Virus 
The l-nucleoside analog β-l-2′,3′-dideoxy-2′,3′-didehydro-5-fluorocytidine (β-l-Fd4C) was first shown to exhibit potent activity against hepatitis B virus (HBV) in tissue culture and then to significantly inhibit viral spread during acute infection in the duck HBV model (F. Le Guerhier et al., Antimicrob. Agents Chemother. 44:111–122, 2000). We have therefore examined its antiviral activity in a mammalian model of chronic HBV infection, the woodchuck chronically infected with woodchuck hepatitis virus (WHV). Side-by-side comparison of β-l-Fd4C and lamivudine administered intraperitoneally during short-term and long-term protocols demonstrated a more profound inhibition of viremia in β-l-Fd4C-treated groups. Moreover, β-l-Fd4C induced a marked inhibition of intrahepatic viral DNA synthesis compared with that induced by lamivudine. Nevertheless, covalently closed circular (CCC) DNA persistence explained the lack of clearance of infected hepatocytes expressing viral antigens and the relapse of WHV replication after drug withdrawal. Liver histology showed a decrease in the inflammatory activity of chronic hepatitis in woodchucks receiving β-l-Fd4C. An electron microscopy study showed the absence of ultrastructural changes of hepatic mitochondria, biliary canaliculi, and bile ducts. However, a loss of weight was observed in all animals, whatever the treatment, as was a transient skin pigmentation in all woodchucks during β-l-Fd4C treatment. There was no evidence that lamivudine or β-l-Fd4C could prevent the development of hepatocellular carcinoma with the protocols used. These results indicate that β-l-Fd4C exhibits a more potent antiviral effect than lamivudine in the WHV model but was not able to eradicate CCC DNA and infected cells from the liver at the dosage and with the protocol used.
doi:10.1128/AAC.45.4.1065-1077.2001
PMCID: PMC90426  PMID: 11257017
3.  n-Butyrate, a cell cycle blocker, inhibits early amplification of duck hepatitis B virus covalently closed circular DNA after in vitro infection of duck hepatocytes. 
Journal of Virology  1996;70(5):2691-2696.
During chronic hepadnavirus infection, virus persistence depends on the regulation of the pool of covalently closed circular DNA (cccDNA), which is the template for transcription of viral RNA species. The development of in vitro infection of duck hepatocyte primary cultures by duck hepatitis B virus (DHBV) provides a unique opportunity to study the regulation of cccDNA synthesis. After DHBV in vitro infection, cccDNA is detected 1 day later and is amplified to a high copy number after 1 week in culture. We studied whether this amplification occurs during cell cycle progression of duckling hepatocytes. By using [3H]thymidine incorporation, we found that hepatocytes obtained from 3-week-old ducklings spontaneously entered the S phase of the cell cycle when cultured in serum-free medium without added growth factors. Bromodeoxyuridine labeling confirmed that cellular DNA synthesis took place in more than 50% of parenchymal cells. Cytofluorometry analysis revealed the presence of asynchronous populations and polyploidization processes. The addition of a cell cycle blocker, n-butyrate, completely inhibited [3H]thymidine incorporation and blocked duckling hepatocytes in the G1 phase of the cell cycle. Simultaneously, butyrate inhibited cccDNA amplification and allowed the establishment of DHBV infection, as demonstrated by the detection of a basal level of cccDNA in treated hepatocytes. Both effects were reversible since active cell DNA synthesis was restored and cccDNA accumulated after drug withdrawal.
PMCID: PMC190125  PMID: 8627742

Results 1-3 (3)