Mitogen-activated lymphoblasts isolated from the blood and lymph nodes, but not the spleen, of domestic cats acutely infected with the Petaluma or Glasgow8 isolates of feline immunodeficiency virus (FIV), suppressed the replication of FIV in the MYA-1 T-cell line in a dose-dependent manner. This effect was not limited to the homologous isolate of FIV. The suppressor activity declined with progression to chronic infection, with lower levels of activity detectable only in the lymph nodes. Immunization of domestic cats with whole inactivated FIV vaccine elicited profound suppressor activity in both the blood and lymph nodes. The suppressor activity was associated with the CD8+ T-cell subpopulation, the effect did not appear to be major histocompatibility complex-restricted, and was mediated by a soluble factor(s). This activity may be associated with the control of virus replication during both the asymptomatic stages of FIV infection, and in the protective immunity observed in cats immunized with whole inactivated virus vaccines
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