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J Virol. 1999 Apr;73(4):2596-603.

Differential cell tropism of feline immunodeficiency virus molecular clones in vivo.

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Department of Microbiology, Pathology, and Parasitology, College of Veterinary Medicine, North Carolina State University, Raleigh, North Carolina 27606, USA.


Independent studies have demonstrated different cell tropisms for molecular clones of feline immunodeficiency virus (FIV). In this report, we examined three clones, FIV-pF34, FIV-14, and FIV-pPPR, for replication in Crandell feline kidney (CrFK) cells, feline peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMC), and feline macrophage cultures. Importantly, cell tropism for these three clones was also examined in vivo. FIV-pF34 replication was efficient in CrFK cells but severely restricted in PBMC, whereas replication of FIV-pPPR was vigorous in PBMC but severely restricted in CrFK cells. FIV-14 replication was productive in both CrFK cells and PBMC. Interestingly, all three molecular clones replicated with similar efficiencies in primary feline monocyte-derived macrophages. In vivo, FIV-pF34 proved least efficient for establishing persistent infection, and proviral DNA when detectable, was localized predominately to nonlymphoid cell populations (macrophages). FIV-pPPR proved most efficient for induction of a persistent viremia in vivo, and proviral DNA was localized predominately in CD4(+) and CD8(+) lymphocyte subsets. FIV-14 inoculation of cats resulted in an infection characterized by seroconversion and localization of proviral DNA in CD4(+) lymphocytes only. Results of this study on diverse FIV molecular clones revealed that in vitro replication efficiency of an FIV isolate in PBMC directly correlated with replication efficiency in vivo, whereas proficiency for replication in macrophages in vitro was not predictive for replication potential in vivo. Also, infection of both CD4(+) and CD8(+) lymphocyte subsets was associated with higher virus load in vivo. Results of the studies on these three FIV clones, which exhibited differential cell tropism, indicated a correlation between in vitro and in vivo cell tropism and virus replication.

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