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Vet Immunol Immunopathol. 2001 May 10;79(1-2):83-100.

Constitutive expression of types 1 and 2 cytokines by alveolar macrophages from feline immunodeficiency virus-infected cats.

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Department of Microbiology, Pathology, and Parasitology, College of Veterinary Medicine, North Carolina State University, 4700 Hillsborough Street, 27606, Raleigh, NC, USA.


Evidence suggests that feline immunodeficiency virus (FIV), causes pulmonary immunodeficiency. The overall objective of this study was to explore FIV-induced alterations in cell counts and cytokine gene expression in the pulmonary compartment during the acute stage infection. Bronchoalveolar lavage (BAL) cells were collected from FIV-infected and control cats at 0, 4, 10, and 16 weeks post-FIV infection for phenotype and cytokine analysis. The major change in BAL cellular populations following FIV-infection was the development of a neutrophilia. Total BAL cell counts and relative numbers of alveolar macrophages (AM), eosinophils, and lymphocytes remained similar in both groups. The RT-qcPCR analyses of AM purified from BAL showed constitutive expression of TNFalpha, IL6 and IL10 mRNAs that peaked during the acute stage of infection then declined. The TNFalpha and IL6 bioactive protein secretion showed a similar response. In contrast, IFNgamma expression increased progressively with time after infection and paralleled a progressive increase in FIV-gag mRNA in AM. The IL12 p40 expression also differed from the other cytokines in that there was a progressive decrease in the number of cats with AM IL12 expression following FIV infection. Infection of AM in vitro with FIV also caused an increase in TNFalpha and IL6 mRNA and bioactive protein suggesting that the increased cytokine response by AM following infection of cats with FIV is an intrinsic characteristic of FIV-infected AM. In summary, pulmonary immune changes seen in FIV-infected cats are similar to those seen in HIV-infected human patients.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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