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Vet Res. 2003 May-Jun;34(3):273-84.

In vitro infection of aortic endothelial cells by caprine arthritis encephalitis virus enhances in vitro transmigration of peripheral blood leukocytes and modulates their phenotypic expression.

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UMR 754, Rétrovirus et Pathologie comparée, INRA/ENVL/UCBL, Université Claude Bernard, 50 avenue Tony Garnier, 69366 Lyon Cedex 07, France.


Infection of goats by caprine arthritis-encephalitis virus (CAEV) provides a convenient example of the infiltration of various tissues by leukocytes following a natural lentiviral infection. This event is important in determining organ susceptibility and local immunity. Caprine vascular endothelial cells are susceptible to infection by CAEV in vitro, so we have investigated the consequences of this infection on the transmigration of uninfected leukocytes in an in vitro model. After in vitro infection by CAEV or stimulation by TNFalpha, the endothelial cells allowed the passage of tenfold more leukocytes from uninfected donors than did the uninfected endothelial cells. The transmigrating leukocytes were enriched in CD8+ lymphocytes, and the leukocytes appeared to have been activated during transmigration, as demonstrated by their expression of IL2R, MHC class II antigens and gamma-delta T-lymphocyte markers. CD4+, CD8+ and B-lymphocytes all proliferated in culture after transmigration. These results suggest that any possible infection or specific stimulation of endothelia in an infected animal could profoundly influence the choice of target organs and could activate the cells involved in local mucosal immune responses.

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