Inhibition of Concanavalin A Response during Osteopetrosis Virus Infection

Joseph A. Price, Ralph E. Smith

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11 Scopus citations


Infection of animals with oncogenic viruses frequently leads to an immunosuppressed state. We have examined immunosuppression induced by an avian osteopetrosis virus, myeloblastosis-associated virus of subgroup B inducing osteopetrosis [MAV-2(O)], and our results suggest that this virus induces immunosuppression by a novel mechanism. Lymphoid cells from osteopetrotic chickens did not respond to a wide dose range of concanavalin A (Con A) over a wide cell density range. Failure to undergo blastogenesis was not due to a lack of Con A-binding sites, since 125l-labeled Con A bound to lymphocytes from infected and uninfected chickens. Infected lymphocytes failed to respond to sodium metaperiodate stimulation, indicating that failure of blastogenesis was not due to a blockage of Con A receptor sites. MAV-2(O) infection of chicks 8 days of age resulted in a transient immunosuppression which appeared 1 to 2 weeks after infection. Cell-mixing experiments showed that MAV-2(O)-induced immunosuppression was not attributable to suppressor cells. In contrast, adherent cells from normal lymphoid preparations restored mitogenicity to lymphocytes from MAV-2(O)-infected animals. Adherent cells were present in the spleen and peripheral blood lymphocytes of MAV-2(O)-infected chickens in numbers comparable to those of the uninfected animal, and both sets of cells contained Fc-dependent phagocytic activity and nonspecific esterase. Peritoneal exudate cells were elicited from osteopetrotic and normal chickens in similar numbers. We conclude that MAV-2(O) induces immunosuppression by interfering with an accessory function of macrophage-like adherent cells.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3617-3624
Number of pages8
JournalCancer Research
Issue number9
StatePublished - 1 Sep 1982


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