Effect of feline immunodeficiency virus on cytokine response to Listeria monocytogenes in vivo

Gregg A. Dean, Jacqueline A. Bernales, Niels C Pedersen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

25 Scopus citations


Feline immunodeficiency virus (FIV) is a lentivirus that induces an acquired immunodeficiency in domestic cats. The objective of this study was to compare the immune response of chronically FIV-infected cats and specific pathogen free (SPF) cats to Listeria monocytogenes, a facultative intracellular bacterium. Regional lymph nodes were removed at various times after subcutaneous inoculation with L. monocytogenes and evaluated. Lymph nodes of chronically FIV-infected cats enlarged more slowly and to a lesser degree than SPF cats. This was due to delayed and blunted lymphoid follicle formation and markedly diminished histiocyte influx. The cellular response correlated with a marked upregulation in IL10 transcription and delayed increase in TNF-α upregulation in FIV-infected cats. Transcriptional upregulation of IFN-γ, IL4, and the p40 chain of IL12 was similar in lymph nodes of FIV-infected and SPF cats. Clinically, FIV-infected cats had a more severe response at the site of L. monocytogenes injection and showed signs of systemic bacterial dissemination while SPF cats remained clinically normal. FIV-infected cats generated a delayed hypersensitivity response similar to SPF cats but also had a significantly greater antibody response. Taken together, these data suggest excessive IL10 production may be responsible for the deficiency observed in the innate immune response of chronically FIV- infected cats challenged with L. monocytogenes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)125-138
Number of pages14
JournalVeterinary Immunology and Immunopathology
Issue number2-4
StatePublished - Oct 23 1998


  • Cytokines
  • FIV
  • HIV
  • Listeria monocytogenes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Animal Science and Zoology
  • Immunology
  • veterinary(all)


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