Induction of lymphocyte proliferation and severe gastrointestinal disease in macaques by a nef gene variant of SIVmac239

Vito G. Sasseville, Zhenjian Du, Laura V. Chalifoux, Douglas R. Pauley, Heather L. Young, Prabhat K. Sehgal, Ronald C. Desrosiers, Andrew A. Lackner

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

36 Scopus citations


The molecularly cloned virus known as SIV-mac239/YEnef causes extensive lymphocyte activation in unstimulated peripheral blood mononuclear cell cultures and induces an acute disease syndrome in macaque monkeys. Here we describe the histopathological and immunophenotypic changes and viral localization in peripheral lymph nodes, spleen, and gastrointestinal tract (including the gut-associated lymphoid tissue (GALT)) in rhesus monkeys inoculated with SIVmac239/YEnef beginning at day 3 postinoculation (pi). The findings are compared with those of rhesus monkeys inoculated with the same dose of parental SiVmac239. Histopathological examination of peripheral lymphoid tissue and GALT demonstrated marked hyperplasia of T-cell-dependent regions and involution of germinal centers as early as day 7 pi. The most striking lesions were multifocal areas of lymphohistiocytic gastroenteritis and colitis. Cellular infiltrates peaked between day 7 and 14 pi and were composed primarily of CD3+ T lymphocytes and HAM·56+ monocyte/macrophages. Many of these inflammatory cells were also strongly immunoreactive for the nuclear proliferation antigen Ki-67. Despite the presence of severe gastrointestinal pathology by day 7 pi, no significant difference in the numbers of virus-positive cells in the gastrointestinal tract was observed between these animals and SIVmac239-infected animals examined at the same time point. However, the distribution of virus in the gastrointestinal tract was markedly different, with virus localized to lymphoid nodules of GALT in SIVmac239-infected animals and restricted to areas of lymphohistiocytic gastroenteritis and colitis in animals infected with SIVmac239/YEnef. Our data indicate that the acute disease syndrome induced by SIVmac239/YEnef is not simply related to increased vital replication in the gastrointestinal tract but is likely due to inappropriate virus-induced T lymphocyte activation and proliferation in GALT and subsequent mucosal destruction.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)163-176
Number of pages14
JournalAmerican Journal of Pathology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jul 1996
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine


Dive into the research topics of 'Induction of lymphocyte proliferation and severe gastrointestinal disease in macaques by a nef gene variant of SIVmac239'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this