Feline immunodeficiency virus (FIV) isolates from domestic cats have been classified into five subtypes, designated A, B, C, D and E. Although many FIV-infected cats may have frequent contact with multiple strains of FIV, they usually become infected with a single FIV subtype. In the present study, we demonstrate that peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMC) of FIV infected cats were resistant to exogenous FIV (second virus) replication in vitro and that the resistance of these PBMC was mediated by CD8 + T cells. In cats with a low anti-FIV activity of CD8 + T cells, the proviral DNA of the second virus inoculated into PBMC was detected intracellularly, and both the second and the originally infecting strain (original virus) were produced in the culture supernatant. In contrast, in cats with a high anti-FIV activity of CD8 + T cells, both the proviral DNA of the second virus and the original virus were detected in PBMC intracellularly, but neither virus was produced in the culture supernatant. However, when PBMCs from these cats were depleted of CD8 + T cells, the RNA of both viruses was detected in the culture supernatant. These results suggest that CD8 + T cells inhibit the late phase of FIV replication after viral integration. Moreover, the inhibition was also effective against FIV strains of different subtypes from that of the original strain. It appears that the CD8 + T cell-mediated immune response plays important roles in the maintenance of an asymptomatic state in FIV-infected cats and their resistance to superinfection.
Archives of Virology – Springer Journals
Published: Aug 1, 2002
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