Link to Pubmed [PMID] – 15609236
J. Infect. Dis. 2005 Jan;191(2):255-63
Human T cell lymphotropic virus (HTLV) type I is the agent of adult T cell leukemia and HTLV-I-associated myelopathy. Because its pathogenesis is not well understood, a mouse model of HTLV-I infection would be valuable. We report the infection of adult BALB/c, C3H/He, 129Sv, and 129Sv IFNAR(-/-) mice with an infectious chimeric HTLV-I provirus bearing the Moloney-murine leukemia virus (Mo-MuLV) envelope glycoprotein truncated for the C-terminal R peptide. Mice were persistently infected (500-800 proviral DNA copies/10(5) splenocytes) for at least 20 weeks after inoculation. The chimeric virus disseminated to several organs, such as spleen, thymus, lung, brain, and spinal cord. The amplification of proviral integration sites showed an oligoclonal integration resembling that reported in HTLV-I-infected humans. Infected mice developed lasting humoral and cellular immune responses. This DeltaR HTLV-I/Mo-MuLV chimeric virus, with the Mo-MuLV Env tropism and HTLV-I replication characteristics, could provide a mouse model of HTLV-I infection.