Interleukin 16 (IL-16) has been shown to diminish HIV and SIV replication through inhibition of HIV and SIV mRNA transcription. To evaluate its role in the FIV cat model, we cloned and expressed feline IL-16 and determined its ability to induce chemotaxis as well as to inhibit FIV replication in cultured PBMCs. Sequence comparison of rfIL-16 with human, African green monkey, rhesus macaque, and mouse IL-16 showed 84.2, 84.5, 84.4, and 79.4% identity at the nucleotide sequence level and 93, 91.5, 90.7, and 87.2% identity at the amino acid sequence level, respectively. Biocharacterization of rfIL,16 revealed potent induction of chemotaxis (p < 0.05). In addition, p24 production from feline PBMCS infected with FIV Zurich 2 in vitro was decreased up to 87% (p < 0.05). These data demonstrate biologic and antiviral functionality of rfIL-16.
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