Replication of beta- and gammaretroviruses is restricted in I/LnJ mice via the same genetic mechanism.

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Antibodies-Viral, Chromosome-Mapping, Immunity-Natural, Interferons, Interleukin-12, Leukemia-Virus-Murine, Mammary-Tumor-Virus-Mouse, Mice-Inbred-Strains, Neutralization-Tests, Retroviridae-Infections, Tumor-Virus-Infections

JAX Source

J Virol 2008 Feb; 82(3):1438-47.


Mice of the I/LnJ inbred strain are unique in their ability to mount a robust and sustained humoral immune response capable of neutralizing infection with a betaretrovirus, mouse mammary tumor virus (MMTV). Virus-neutralizing antibodies (Abs) coat MMTV virions secreted by infected cells, preventing virus spread and hence the formation of mammary tumors. To investigate whether I/LnJ mice resist infection with other retroviruses besides MMTV, the animals were infected with murine leukemia virus (MuLV), a gammaretrovirus. MuLV-infected I/LnJ mice produced virus-neutralizing Abs that block virus transmission and virally induced disease. Generation of virus-neutralizing Abs required gamma interferon but was independent of interleukin-12. This unique mechanism of retrovirus resistance is governed by a single recessive gene, virus infectivity controller 1 (vic1), mapped to chromosome 17. In addition to controlling the antivirus humoral immune response, vic1 is also required for an antiviral cytotoxic response. Both types of responses were maintained in mice of the susceptible genetic background but congenic for the I/LnJ vic1 locus. Although the vic1-mediated resistance to MuLV resembles the mechanism of retroviral recovery controlled by the resistance to Friend virus 3 (rfv3) gene, the rfv3 gene has been mapped to chromosome 15 and confers resistance to MuLV but not to MMTV. Thus, we have identified a unique virus resistance mechanism that controls immunity against two distinct retroviruses.