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AIDS Res Hum Retroviruses. 1995 Sep;11(9):1107-13.

Involvement of gag- and env-specific cytotoxic T lymphocytes in protective immunity to feline immunodeficiency virus.

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Department of Veterinary Pathology, University of Glasgow, Bearsden, Scotland.


Definition of the immunological mechanisms involved in protective immunity against lentiviral infections is crucial to the development of an effective vaccine. The induction of gag- and env-specific cell-mediated immune responses was studied in cats following vaccination with whole inactivated feline immunodeficiency virus (FIV). Cats were immunized by inoculation with three doses of paraformaldehyde-inactivated FIV, derived from the feline lymphoid cell line, FL-4, which is persistently infected with the Petaluma isolate of FIV. Autologous or allogeneic skin fibroblasts either infected with recombinant FIV gag- or env-vaccinia virus or pulsed with FIV env peptides were used as targets in chromium-51 release assays. Effector cells were fresh peripheral blood mononuclear cells. Following the third immunization, all vaccinated cats, but none of the control cats immunized with adjuvant alone, had detectable FIV env-specific lymphocytotoxicity in their peripheral blood. Two cats also exhibited gag-specific activity. There was no recognition of either allogeneic skin fibroblasts infected with recombinant vaccinia virus or autologous target cells infected with wild-type vaccinia virus, indicating the specificity and MHC-restricted nature of the response. Vaccinated cats, but not control cats, were protected from challenge with the homologous Petaluma isolate of FIV. Partial epitope mapping of the env-specific cytotoxic response was performed using overlapping 10-amino acid peptides from the env V3 domain of FIV. This response appeared to be directed at env peptide 1 (RAISSWKQRN) and env peptide 3 (QRNRWEWRPD), which lie adjacent to a beta-turn within the V3 domain.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS).

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