Changes in apoptosis, proliferation and T lymphocyte subtype on thymic cells of SPF chickens infected with reticuloendotheliosis virus.


College of Veterinary Medicine, Northeast Agricultural University, Harbin 150030, PR China; Heilongjiang Key Laboratory of Laboratory Animals and Comparative Medicine, Harbin 150030, PR China. Electronic address: [Email]


Reticuloendotheliosis virus (REV), an avian retrovirus is able to infect a variety of birds and can cause immunosuppression. The aim of this study was to investigate the relationship of thymic lymphocytes apoptosis, proliferation and T cell subtype with immunosuppression. In this study, a hundred and twenty one-day old SPF chickens were randomly divided into control groups (group C) and a REV infection groups (group I). The chickens of group I received intraperitoneal injections of REV with 104.62/0.1 ml TCID50. On day 14, 21, 28 and 35 post-inoculation, the chickens of C group and I group were sacrificed by cardiac puncture blood collection, and the thymic lymphocytes was sterile collected. The proliferation ability of lymphocytes was tested by Cell Counting Kit-8. Flow cytometry was performed to detect apoptosis, cell cycle stage and the change in T cell subtype. The RNA genome copy numbers of REV virus were detected using real-time PCR. Real-time PCR and western blotting were performed to analyze the expression of CyclinD1 and Bcl-2. Our results showed that REV genome copy number steadily declined, the proliferation potential of thymic lymphocytes was inhibited, lymphocytes apoptosed, the ratio of CD4+/CD8+ decreased and the expression of CyclinD1 and Bcl-2 were firstly inhibited, then rapidly recovered. Thus, immunosuppression lead by REV is closely related to the change of T cell subtype, apoptosis, and proliferation of thymic lymphocytes.


Apoptosis,Immunosuppression,Proliferation,Reticuloendotheliosis,T cell subtype,Virus,