Resistance to Friend leukemia virus in transgenic mice expressing the native FV-4 gene

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Acta Virologica



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Fv-4 is a mouse gene that dominantly confers resistance to infection with Friend murine leukemia virus (F-MuLV) (S. Suzuki, Jpn. J. Exp. Med. 45:473–478, 1975). However, the resistance caused byFv-4 is recessive in nude mice, which suggests that immunological effects play important roles in this resistance in vivo (K. Higo, Y. Kubo, Y. Iwatani, T. Ono, M. Maeda, H. Hiai, T. Masuda, K. Kuribayashi, F. Zhang, T. Lamin, A. Adachi, and A. Ishimoto, J. Virol. 71:750–754, 1997). To determine the immunological effect on the resistance in vivo, we infected immunologically immature newborn mice homozygous (Fv-4 r/r) and heterozygous (Fv-4 r/−) for Fv-4. Although theFv-4 r/r mice showed complete resistance to F-MuLV whether infected neonatally or as adolescents, theFv-4 r/− mice showed high sensitivity to viral proliferation and disease induction when infected as newborns but complete resistance when infected as adolescent mice. To confirm the immunological effect on the resistance in adolescent mice with theFv-4 r/r and Fv-4 r/−genotypes, we examined the effect of an immunosuppressant drug, FK506, on the resistance. The mice with the Fv-4 r/rgenotype treated with FK506 still showed resistance, but the mice with the Fv-4 r/− genotype became highly sensitive to F-MuLV infection. Flow cytometric analysis to detect theFv-4 gene product showed that the Fv-4 gene product was expressed on the cells from newborn and adolescent mice. The Fv-4 gene product was also detected on the cells from the FK506-treated mice as well as on those from untreated mice. However, a quantitative difference in the gene product between the cells with the Fv-4 r/r andFv-4 r/− genotypes was detected by indirect staining for flow cytometry. These results show that the resistance to F-MuLV infection conferred by the Fv-4 gene is originally recessive, but it looks dominant in adolescent mice mainly because of the effect of the immune system.

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