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Cellular Immune Responses against Simian T-Lymphotropic Virus Type 1 Target Tax in Infected Baboons.

ABSTRACT: There are currently 5 million to 10 million human T-lymphotropic virus type 1 (HTLV-1)-infected people, and many of them will develop severe complications resulting from this infection. A vaccine is urgently needed in areas where HTLV-1 is endemic. Many vaccines are best tested in nonhuman primate animal models. As a first step in designing an effective HTLV-1 vaccine, we defined the CD8(+) and CD4(+) T cell response against simian T-lymphotropic virus type 1 (STLV-1), a virus closely related to HTLV-1, in olive baboons (Papio anubis). Consistent with persistent antigenic exposure, we observed that STLV-1-specific CD8(+) T cells displayed an effector memory phenotype and usually expressed CD107a, gamma interferon (IFN-?), and tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNF-?). To assess the viral targets of the cellular immune response in STLV-1-infected animals, we used intracellular cytokine staining to detect responses against overlapping peptides covering the entire STLV-1 proteome. Our results show that, similarly to humans, the baboon CD8(+) T cell response narrowly targeted the Tax protein. Our findings suggest that the STLV-1-infected baboon model may recapitulate some of the important aspects of the human response against HTLV-1 and could be an important tool for the development of immune-based therapy and prophylaxis.HTLV-1 infection can lead to many different and often fatal conditions. A vaccine deployed in areas of high prevalence might reduce the incidence of HTLV-1-induced disease. Unfortunately, there are very few animal models of HTLV-1 infection useful for testing vaccine approaches. Here we describe cellular immune responses in baboons against a closely related virus, STLV-1. We show for the first time that the immune response against STLV-1 in naturally infected baboons is largely directed against the Tax protein. Similar findings in humans and the sequence similarity between the human and baboon viruses suggest that the STLV-1-infected baboon model might be useful for developing a vaccine against HTLV-1.


PROVIDER: S-EPMC4934758 | BioStudies | 2016-01-01

REPOSITORIES: biostudies

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