Immunogenic determinants of a neuropathogenic murine leukemia virus.
Previous studies of Cas-Br-M murine leukemia virus (MuLV) (Cas-MuLV) infection demonstrated that cytotoxic T cells (CTL) of the CD8+ phenotype play a role in resistance to the neuropathogenic effects of the virus in NFS/N mice. In the current study, we sought to identify the Cas-MuLV epitopes that are immunogenic for the CTL response. Infection of adult NFS/N mice with a well-characterized neuropathogenic variant of Friend MuLV, PVC-211 MuLV (PVC-MuLV), was not immunogenic for MuLV-specific CTL. Therefore, we constructed chimeric viruses between Cas-MuLV and PVC-MuLV. Infectious chimeras contained the Cas-MuLV env gene on a PVC-MuLV background (PVC-CasenvMuLV) and the PVC-MuLV env gene on a Cas-MuLV background (Cas-PVCenvMuLV). Cas-MuLV-specific CTL were found following inoculation of both the chimeric viruses and the parental Cas-MuLV but not the parental PVC-MuLV, despite evidence of antibody responses to both parental and chimeric MuLV. CTL generated in response to infection with PVC-CasenvMuLV and Cas-PVCenvMuLV were exclusively of the CD8+ phenotype. These results indicate that both the env and gag-pol regions of Cas-MuLV express epitopes that are immunogenic for CTL.
Robbins, DS; Remington, MP; Sarzotti, M; St Louis, D; Hoffman, PM
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