Alloimmunity does not protect from challenge with the feline immunodeficiency virus

Vet Immunol Immunopathol. 2008 Jul 15;124(1-2):152-62. doi: 10.1016/j.vetimm.2008.03.010. Epub 2008 Mar 30.


Immune responses against polymorphic host molecules incorporated into lentiviral envelopes during cell budding have induced protection against primate immunodeficiency virus infection. Dendritic cells (DCs) express high levels of MHC molecules and are infectable by lentiviruses. Therefore, in this pilot study we addressed the hypothesis that immunization of cats with allogeneic DC would induce immune responses that protect against challenge with the feline immunodeficiency virus. Two groups of 3 cats each received 3 subcutaneous injections of allogeneic or autologous DC, and were then challenged with viruses propagated in the immunizing DC. Infection status and lymphocyte parameters of cats were assessed during 6 weeks after challenge. MHC II antigens were incorporated into viral particles as identified by Western blot; and antibodies reactive with MHC class II antigens were detected in the serum of cats immunized with allogeneic but not autologous DC. After challenge, all cats had proviral DNA in blood leukocytes from 2 weeks post-challenge onward and seroconverted. Cats immunized with allogeneic DC maintained higher total and CD21(+) lymphocyte concentrations, and higher CD4(+)/CD8(+) lymphocyte ratios; however, these differences were not significantly different from cats that received autologous DC immunizations. Plasma viral load was not significantly different between groups of cats (p=0.204). These results suggest that immunization of cats with allogeneic DC does not induce protective immunity against FIV infection.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • CD4-CD8 Ratio / veterinary
  • Cats
  • Cell Survival / immunology
  • Dendritic Cells / immunology*
  • Feline Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome / immunology*
  • Feline Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome / prevention & control*
  • Feline Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome / virology
  • Flow Cytometry / veterinary
  • Histocompatibility Antigens Class II / immunology*
  • Immunization / methods
  • Immunization / veterinary*
  • Immunoblotting / veterinary
  • Immunodeficiency Virus, Feline / immunology*
  • Lymphocyte Count / veterinary
  • Microscopy, Fluorescence / veterinary
  • Pilot Projects
  • RNA, Viral / chemistry
  • RNA, Viral / genetics
  • Random Allocation
  • Reverse Transcriptase Polymerase Chain Reaction / veterinary
  • Specific Pathogen-Free Organisms


  • Histocompatibility Antigens Class II
  • RNA, Viral