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J Virol. 2011 May;85(9):4547-57. doi: 10.1128/JVI.02411-10. Epub 2011 Feb 16.

Infection, viral dissemination, and antibody responses of rhesus macaques exposed to the human gammaretrovirus XMRV.

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  • 1Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, Emory University School of Medicine, Atlanta, Georgia, USA.

Abstract

Xenotropic murine leukemia-related virus (XMRV) was identified in association with human prostate cancer and chronic fatigue syndrome. To examine the infection potential, kinetics, and tissue distribution of XMRV in an animal model, we inoculated five macaques with XMRV intravenously. XMRV established a persistent, chronic disseminated infection, with low transient viremia and provirus in blood lymphocytes during acute infection. Although undetectable in blood after about a month, XMRV viremia was reactivated at 9 months, confirming the chronicity of the infection. Furthermore, XMRV Gag was detected in tissues throughout, with wide dissemination throughout the period of monitoring. Surprisingly, XMRV infection showed organ-specific cell tropism, infecting CD4 T cells in lymphoid organs including the gastrointestinal lamina propria, alveolar macrophages in lung, and epithelial/interstitial cells in other organs, including the reproductive tract. Of note, in spite of the intravenous inoculation, extensive XMRV replication was noted in prostate during acute but not chronic infection even though infected cells were still detectable by fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH) in prostate at 5 and 9 months postinfection. Marked lymphocyte activation occurred immediately postinfection, but antigen-specific cellular responses were undetectable. Antibody responses were elicited and boosted upon reexposure, but titers decreased rapidly, suggesting low antigen stimulation over time. Our findings establish a nonhuman primate model to study XMRV replication/dissemination, transmission, pathogenesis, immune responses, and potential future therapies.

PMID:
21325416
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PMCID:
PMC3126245
Free PMC Article

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