Infection of the Ex Vivo Tonsil Model by HTLV-1 Envelope-Pseudotyped Viruses

by | Feb 25, 2023 | Publications, Uncategorized

Pathogens. 2023 Jan 24;12(2):182. doi: 10.3390/pathogens12020182.


Human T-cell leukemia virus type 1 (HTLV-1) is the causal agent of adult T-cell leukemia/lymphoma and HTLV-1-associated myelopathy/tropical spastic paraparesis. Its tropism is known to be broad in cultured cell lines, while in vivo data support a more selective transmission toward CD4+ T cells and the limited targeting of other hematopoietic cell types. An essential condition for HTLV-1 infection is cell-to-cell contact, to which both virological synapse and viral biofilm have been suggested to strongly contribute. As cell lines and animal models each present their own limitations in studying HTLV-1 replication, we have explored the use of an ex vivo model based on the secondary lymphoid tonsillar tissue. HIV-1 luciferase-expressing pseudotyped viruses bearing the HTLV-1 envelope protein at their surface were first shown to recapitulate the wide spectrum of infectivity of HTLV-1 toward various cell lines. Tonsil fragments were next exposed to pseudotyped viruses and shown to be reproducibly infected. Infection by HTLV-1 Env-pseudotyped viruses was blocked by different anti-gp46 antibodies, unlike infection by HIV-1 virions. The dose-dependent infection revealed a gradual increase in luciferase activity, which was again sensitive to anti-gp46 antibodies. Overall, these results suggest that the ex vivo tonsil model represents a reliable alternative for studying HTLV-1 replication and potentially viral latency, as well as early clonal formation.

PMID:36839454 | DOI:10.3390/pathogens12020182

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