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Age-dependent changes in T cell homeostasis and SIV load in sooty mangabeys.

Chakrabarti LA, Lewin SR, Zhang L, Gettie A, Luckay A, Martin LN, Skulsky E, Ho DD, Cheng-Mayer C, Marx PA

  • Journal Journal of medical primatology

  • Published 07 Jun 2001

  • Volume 29

  • ISSUE 3-4

  • Pagination 158-65

  • DOI 10.1034/j.1600-0684.2000.290309.x


Sooty mangabeys (Cercocebus atys) showed age-dependent changes in T cell regeneration. Younger animals had a high percentage of CD4+ CD45RA + T cells and a high concentration of T cell receptor excisional circles (TRECs) in peripheral blood, which indicated active thymopoiesis. In contrast, older animals had an increased T cell turnover, which suggested that most T cell production occurred in the periphery. In addition, the number of peripheral CD4+ T cells naturally decreased with age. Non-pathogenic SIVsm infection did not significantly change the T cell proliferation rate or the TREC concentration, though it did cause a moderate loss of peripheral CD4 + T cells. The viral load correlated negatively with age, which could be accounted for by the reduced availability of CD4 + target cells in older mangabeys. Thus, the number of susceptible target cells may be a limiting factor in natural SIV infection.