Effects of Zidovudine on Friend virus complex infection in Rfv-3r/s genotype-containing mice used as a model for HIV infection

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Journal of Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndromes



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Infection with the Friend virus complex (FV) in (B10.A x A/WySn)F1 mice containing the Rfv-3r/s genotype results in several disease manifestations analogous to those seen in patients with acquired immune deficiency syndrome, predominantly high levels of specific antibody and low levels of infectious virus with eventual retroviral disease-induced death of the host. Other immunologic manifestations of FV infection in this murine host included inhibition of percent total T, T-helper, and T-suppressor/cytotoxic cells of total splenic lymphocytes and phytohemagglutinin-induced response of spleen cells. Interleukin-1 production was not affected but the numbers of splenic B cells were increased by the infection. 3'-Azido-3'-deoxythymidine (zidovudine, AZT) administered (a) intraperitoneally three times daily for 24 days beginning 4 h after virus inoculation in doses of 60 to 480 mg/kg/day, (b) in drinking water for 22 days beginning 4 h after virus inoculation in doses of 22 to 216 mg/kg/day, or (c) in drinking water for 29 days beginning 6 days after virus inoculation in doses of 22 to 216 mg/kg/day markedly inhibited FV-induced disease. In the mice receiving early-initiated AZT therapy, FV-induced splenomegaly and hematocrit values were inhibited and infectious centers in the spleen and FV titers in the plasma were reduced to below detectable levels at the higher AZT dosage levels. The percent of total T cells in splenic lymphocytes was increased in the infected, AZT-treated mice. In the intraperitoneal experiment, FV disease-induced death was prevented by treatment with all doses of AZT. Neutralizing antibody to FV was significantly reduced in all AZT-treated groups. Toxicologic manifestations of these AZT treatments included splenic enlargement and reduced hematocrit, although all treated, uninfected mice survived the treatments, gained weight, and displayed no significant effects on enumeration of T and B cells.

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