Ovine lentivirus is macrophagetropic and does not replicate productively in T lymphocytes

M. D. Gorrell, M. R. Brandon, D. Sheffer, R. J. Adams, O. Narayan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

103 Scopus citations


The lentiviruses of sheep, goats, and horses cause chronic multiorgan disease in which macrophages are highly permissive for viral replication. Monocytes, which mature into macrophages, are thought to be latently infected with lentivirus, but the extent to which other leukocytes are infected is unknown. Dendritic cells have not been studied separately from monocytes and T-cell subsets have not been examined in previous attempts to identify infected cells in peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMC). We found no evidence of T-cell tropism using an animal-passaged, pathogenic ovine lentivirus. Phytohemagglutinin-stimulated infectious PBMC produced 20-fold less virus than differentiated macrophages, and cocultivation of infectious PBMC with fresh, uninfected phytohemagglutinin blasts did not facilitate virus replication. Furthermore, central lymph cells, the best in vivo source of purified lymphocytes, lacked virus and did not yield virus upon in vitro cultivation. In contrast, cultivated blood-derived macrophages were highly permissive for viral replication. To identify the latently infected PBMC, PBMC from infected sheep were selectively depleted of monocytes and B cells by passage over nylon wool and then of nonadherent cells bearing CD4, CD8, T19, γδ T-cell receptor, CD45RA, or major histocompatibility complex class II antigens by panning. Removal of adherent monocytes and B cells or of adherent cells and the three major T-cell subsets (CD4+, CD8+, T19+) did not decrease the infectivity of PBMC. The richest sources of infected cells in fresh PBMC were CD45RA+ and major histocompatibility complex class II+ nonadherent cells, which are three characteristics of dendritic cells. Thus, the dendritic cell, and not the monocyte or the CD4+ cell, is probably the predominant infected cell type in blood.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2679-2688
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of virology
Issue number5
StatePublished - 1992

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Microbiology
  • Immunology
  • Insect Science
  • Virology


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