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Virology. 1996 Apr 15;218(2):382-8.

In vitro immortalization of Old World monkey T lymphocytes with Herpesvirus saimiri: its susceptibility to infection with simian immunodeficiency viruses.

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Tsukuba Primate Center for Medical Science, National Institute of Health, Ibaraki, Japan.


Peripheral blood T lymphocytes of Old World monkeys, rhesus and cynomolgus monkey (Macaca mulatta and Macaca fascicularis, respectively), were successfully immortalized by infection with Herpesvirus saimiri subtype C. The T cell lines were stably cultured without addition of exogenous IL-2. The STP-C488 protein, the oncogene product of subtype C strain 488-77, was detected in these cells by Western blotting. They also expressed some markers of activated or matured T cell phenotypes such as CD2+, monkey Pan-T+, CD25+,CD29+ and MHC-II DR+. Interestingly, not only CD4+CD8- or CD4-CD8+ single positive subpopulations but also CD4+CD8+ double positive ones were present in all of them. Furthermore, they were productively infected with both SIVmac and SIVagm. The levels of the viral replication were comparable to those in human T cell lines. Thus, Herpes Virus Saimiri-immortalized Old World monkey T lymphocytes will be suitable for further studies of immune system in Old World monkeys and cell-virus interactions in SIV infection.

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