Greater than 75% of the sooty mangabey monkeys at the Yerkes Regional Primate Research Center are naturally infected with SIV without any apparent clinical symptomology. On the other hand, experimental infection of rhesus macaques with SIV results in a clinical syndrome similar to human AIDS. These differences with regard to SIV infection prompted us to examine the natural immunosurveillance system of peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMC) from SIV-infected and uninfected monkeys of these two species. Phenotypic and functional studies of precursor and effector NK and LAK cells in the PBMC from these two species were carried out using monoclonal reagents, flow microfluorometry (FMF), and the standard in vitro, 51Cr release assay against prototype K562 (NK sensitive) and RAJI (NK resistant, LAK susceptible) target cell lines. Data indicate that both NK and LAK cell activities in the PBMC of sooty mangabeys were significantly (P < 0.01) greater than those in rhesus macaques. The predominant NK effector cells and LAK cell precursors were shown to be Leu19- CD8+ in the PBMC of sooty mangabeys and Leu19+ CD8- in the PBMC of rhesus macaques as determined by panning depletion techniques and FMF analysis. On the other hand, the predominant LAK effector cells were found to be dual marked Leu19+ CD8+ in rhesus macaques and Leu19- CD8+ in sooty mangabeys. These qualitative and quantitative differences were not due to SIV infection of these two species since PBMC from both SIV-seropositive and virus-positive and SIV-seronegative and virus-negative monkeys gave similar results. Moreover, of importance is the finding that the functional NK and LAK precursor cells are CD8+ and CD8- in sooty mangabeys and rhesus macaques, respectively. These data may have implications for the natural SIV/SMM virus-positive asymptomatic state of sooty mangabeys and may provide useful tools for tracing the ontogeny and lineage derivation of NK and LAK cells.
ASJC Scopus subject areas