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PLoS One. 2011 Feb 25;6(2):e17183. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0017183.

Partial regulatory T cell depletion prior to acute feline immunodeficiency virus infection does not alter disease pathogenesis.

Author information

1
Center for Comparative Medicine and Translational Research, College of Veterinary Medicine, North Carolina State University, Raleigh, North Carolina, United States of America.

Abstract

Feline immunodeficiency virus (FIV) infection in cats follows a disease course similar to HIV-1, including a short acute phase characterized by high viremia, and a prolonged asymptomatic phase characterized by low viremia and generalized immune dysfunction. CD4(+)CD25(hi)FoxP3(+) immunosuppressive regulatory T (Treg) cells have been implicated as a possible cause of immune dysfunction during FIV and HIV-1 infection, as they are capable of modulating virus-specific and inflammatory immune responses. Additionally, the immunosuppressive capacity of feline Treg cells has been shown to be increased during FIV infection. We have previously shown that transient in vivo Treg cell depletion during asymptomatic FIV infection reveals FIV-specific immune responses suppressed by Treg cells. In this study, we sought to determine the immunological influence of Treg cells during acute FIV infection. We asked whether Treg cell depletion prior to infection with the highly pathogenic molecular clone FIV-C36 in cats could alter FIV pathogenesis. We report here that partial Treg cell depletion prior to FIV infection does not significantly change provirus, viremia, or CD4(+) T cell levels in blood and lymphoid tissues during the acute phase of disease. The effects of anti-CD25 mAb treatment are truncated in cats acutely infected with FIV-C36 as compared to chronically infected cats or FIV-naïve cats, as Treg cell levels were heightened in all treatment groups included in the study within two weeks post-FIV infection. Our findings suggest that the influence of Treg cell suppression during FIV pathogenesis is most prominent after Treg cells are activated in the environment of established FIV infection.

PMID:
21364928
PMCID:
PMC3045403
DOI:
10.1371/journal.pone.0017183
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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