Long-term treatment of pigs with low doses of monoclonal antibodies against porcine CD4 and CD8 antigens

Louise Lohse, Jens Nielsen, Lis Eriksen

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    In vivo depletion of lymphocyte subsets allows investigation of the role of specific subsets in protective immunity. In the present study we evaluated the effects of long-term, low-dose treatment with murine monoclonal antibodies (mAbs) against porcine CD4 and CD8 surface antigens on lymphocyte subsets in pigs. Four-week-old pigs were treated by intramuscular injections of hybridoma cell culture supernatants containing anti-CD mAbs twice a week for a period of 5 weeks. The immunomodulatory effects of the treatments were assessed by flow cytometry (FCM) analysis of peripheral blood lymphocytes. Treatment with the anti-CD4 mAb almost completely eliminated the CD4(+) T-cell subset from the circulation after 2 weeks of therapy. This depletion persisted until the end of the experimental period 5 weeks after initiated therapy. Treatment with the anti-CD8 mAb was less effective, reducing the CD8(+) T-cell subset in peripheral blood by approximately 50% of the initial level after 3 weeks of therapy. Further, the anti-CD8 mAb-treated pigs showed a parallel increase in the CD4(+) T-cell subset from day 7. Two-colour FCM analysis indicated that a shift in phenotype from single-positive CD4(+)/CD8(-) to double-positive CD4(+)/CD8(+) T-cells might have occurred in these pigs. In the present experiment we demonstrated specific modulation of the peripheral blood T-lymphocyte population in pigs with continuous low-dose injections of specific mAb. The ability to modulate individual T-cell subsets should provide a method to elucidate their functionality in protection against infectious disease.
    Original languageEnglish
    JournalActa Pathologica Microbiologica et Immunologica Scandinavica
    Issue number1
    Pages (from-to)23-31
    Publication statusPublished - 2006


    • T-cells
    • immunotherapy
    • CD4
    • double-positive cells
    • CD8
    • monoclonal antibody
    • pig


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