Feline leukemia virus-induced immunodeficiency syndrome in cats as a model for evaluation of antiretroviral therapy.

Severe progressive immunodeficiency syndrome can be induced experimentally with a molecularly cloned isolate of feline leukemia virus (FeLV-FAIDS). The resultant disease syndrome is characterized by persistent viremia, lymphopenia, progressive weight loss, persistent diarrhea, enteropathy, and opportunistic infections. The onset of clinical immunodeficiency disease is prefigured by the replication of the FeLV-FAIDS variant virus in bone marrow and other tissues. The FeLV-FAIDS system can be used to evaluate antiviral agents which act on steps in the replication cycle which are conserved among retroviruses (e.g. reverse transcriptase, protease, assembly). The persistence and magnitude of viremia serves as a useful parameter in antiviral studies because it can be easily measured, presages the eventual development of immunodeficiency, and provides a convenient indicator of therapeutic efficacy either in preventing de novo FeLV infection or in reversing or ameliorating established infection. We describe here the evaluation of 2',3'-dideoxycytidine (ddC) against FeLV-FAIDS infection - both in vitro in cell culture assay systems and in vivo in cats administered ddC either via intravenous bolus dosage or via controlled release subcutaneous implants. We found that, although controlled release delivery of ddC inhibited de novo FeLV-FAIDS replication and delayed onset of viremia when therapy was discontinued (after 3 weeks), an equivalent incidence and level of viremia were established rapidly in both ddC-treated and control cats. The FeLV model, therefore, can be used to assess rapidly experimental single agent or combined antiviral therapies for persistent retrovirus infection and disease.
AuthorsE A Hoover, N S Zeidner, N A Perigo, S L Quackenbush, J D Strobel, D L Hill, J I Mullins
JournalIntervirology (Intervirology) Vol. 30 Suppl 1 Pg. 12-25 ( 1989) ISSN: 0300-5526 [Print] SWITZERLAND
PMID2540109 (Publication Type: Journal Article, Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.)
Chemical References
  • Delayed-Action Preparations
  • Dideoxynucleosides
  • Drug Implants
  • Tetrahydrouridine
  • Zalcitabine
  • Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome (drug therapy)
  • Animals
  • Cats
  • Cell Line
  • Cytopathogenic Effect, Viral
  • Delayed-Action Preparations
  • Dideoxynucleosides (administration & dosage, therapeutic use)
  • Disease Models, Animal
  • Drug Evaluation, Preclinical
  • Drug Implants
  • Drug Therapy, Combination
  • Immunologic Deficiency Syndromes (drug therapy)
  • Injections, Intravenous
  • Injections, Subcutaneous
  • Leukemia Virus, Feline (drug effects)
  • Leukemia, Experimental (drug therapy)
  • Retroviridae Infections (drug therapy)
  • Specific Pathogen-Free Organisms
  • Tetrahydrouridine (therapeutic use)
  • Viremia (drug therapy)
  • Zalcitabine

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