Distribution of a macaque immunosuppressive type D retrovirus in neural, lymphoid, and salivary tissues

A. A. Lackner, M. H. Rodriguez, C. E. Bush, R. J. Munn, H. S. Kwang, Peter F Moore, K. G. Osborn, P. A. Marx, M. B. Gardner, Linda J Lowenstine

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33 Scopus citations


Simian acquired immune deficiency syndrome (SAIDS) in rhesus macaques (Macaca mulatta) at the California Primate Research Center is caused by a type D retrovirus designated SAIDS retrovirus serotype 1 (SRV-1). This syndrome is characterized by profound immunosuppression and death associated with opportunistic infections. Neurologic signs and lesions have not been described as part of this syndrome. The distribution of SRV-1 in the salivary glands, lymph nodes, spleens, thymuses, and brains of eight virus-infected rhesus macaques was examined by immunohistochemistry. Electron microscopy, in situ RNA hybridization and Southern blot hybridization were also performed on selected tissues to detect viral particles, RNA, and DNA, respectively. In seven of eight SRV-1-infected animals, the transmembrane envelope glycoprotein (gp20) of SRV-1 was present in three or more tissues, but never in the brain. In the remaining animal, no viral antigen was detected in any tissue. In this same group of animals, viral nucleic acid was detected in the lymph nodes of six of six animals by Southern blot hybridization, in the salivary glands of two of five animals by both Southern blot and in situ hybridizations, and, surprisingly, in the brains of three of three animals by Southern blot and of three of five animals by in situ hybridization, including the one animal in which viral gp20 was undetectable. None of these animals had neurologic signs or lesions. The detection of viral nucleic acid in the absence of viral antigen in the brain suggests latent SRV-1 infection of the central nervous system.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2134-2142
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Virology
Issue number6
StatePublished - 1988

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology


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