Malignant rabbit fibroma virus (MV) is a lymphocytotropic leporipoxvirus which produces profound immunological dysfunction and lethal fibromyxosarcoma. We examined virus recovery from splenic lymphocytes as a function of time after inoculation , and correlated this with both immunological function and expression of virus-induced host suppressor activity. MV was most abundant in lymphocytes obtained 4 days following inoculation. At that time, immune function was relatively normal and host suppressor activity was not observed. By 7 days after infection, when active host immunosuppressor functions were observed, virus recovery was decreased. Eleven days post-inoculation host immune function began to recover despite increasing virus-induced tumours and developing opportunistic infection. Simultaneously, MV was no longer recoverable from spleen cells. Spleen cells from day 11 tumour-bearing rabbits did not support MV replication as efficiently as did normal or day 4 or 7 splenic lymphocytes, but they did not alter the ability of MV to grow in the latter cells. By fluorescence examination and cytofluorography, splenic lymphocytes bearing MV antigens were abundant 7 days after infection but disappeared by 11 days. This was temporally related to production of neutralizing antibody to MV, and development of virus-specific lymphocyte proliferative activity. The composition of splenic lymphocytes changed as well: the normal ratio of about 1:1 for B and T cells changed to 1:2 by day 7, and then inverted to almost 2:1 by day 11. Rabbits infected with MV thus appear to recover their immune function, concurrently eliminate virus-infected lymphocytes, and elaborate high titres of neutralizing serum antibodies despite progressive infections and tumour development.


Article metrics loading...

Loading full text...

Full text loading...


Most cited this month Most Cited RSS feed

This is a required field
Please enter a valid email address
Approval was a Success
Invalid data
An Error Occurred
Approval was partially successful, following selected items could not be processed due to error