A unique subset of normal murine CD4+ T cells lacking Thy-1 is expanded in a murine retrovirus-induced immunodeficiency syndrome, MAIDS.

Research paper by K L KL Holmes, H C HC Morse, M M Makino, R R RR Hardy, K K Hayakawa

Indexed on: 01 Dec '90Published on: 01 Dec '90Published in: European Journal of Immunology


Some strains of mice inoculated with LP-BM5 murine leukemia virus (MuLV) develop a syndrome, termed mouse acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (MAIDS), characterized by progressive lymphoproliferation and profound immunodeficiency. LP-BM5 MuLV is a virus mixture that contains ecotropic (eco) and mink cell focus-induced MuLV and a defective genome that is the proximal cause of disease. Flow cytometry analyses of spleen and lymph nodes from susceptible C57BL/6 mice infected with this virus mixture revealed the presence in spleen and peripheral lymph nodes of a previously unrecognized subset of CD4+CD3+ T cells that are Thy-1-. The frequency of these cells increased with progression of disease, eventually comprising between 30% and 50% of all CD4+ cells. Infection of A/J mice, a strain which is genetically resistant to development of MAIDS, did not induce an increase of this T cell population, indicating that infection with the virus mixture was insufficient to induce its proliferation. A central role for the defective virus in this process was suggested by the finding that C57BL/6 mice infected with LP-BM5 eco alone did not have increased frequencies of Thy-1-CD4+ cells in spleen. Studies of spleen and peripheral lymph node cells from normal mice demonstrated the presence of Thy-1-CD4+ cells at frequencies of 1%-2%. Studies using two anti-T cell monoclonal antibodies, SM6C10 and SM3G11, that define four CD4+ subsets showed that Thy-1-CD4+ T cells from normal and infected mice were present only in the 6C10- subsets.