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Open Access Characterization of Immune Responses during Regression of Rabbit Oral Papillomavirus Infections

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Rabbit oral papillomavirus (ROPV) is a mucosatropic papillomavirus that causes small benign discrete papillomas within the oral cavity of domestic rabbits. The goal of this study was to characterize the immune cell infiltrate over the course of regression of oral papillomas. ROPV-infected oral tissues were harvested at various time points after infection and analyzed by immunohistochemistry for papilloma morphology, viral capsid proteins, and associated immune infiltrates. The results of this study indicated that the L1 and L2 viral capsid proteins were lost rapidly at a time that coincided with an inflammatory response from the rabbit. This inflammatory response began with a rapid rise in numbers of CD11c+ cells at early regression. CD11c+ cells continued to increase in frequency through mid-regression and remained the most-represented cell through late regression. The initial rise in CD11c+ cells was followed by an infiltrate containing increased numbers of activated T cells, including CD4+ and CD25+ cells, during mid-regression. Mid-regression coincided spatially with a loss of viral capsid stain, suggesting that immune cells or cytokines or both were playing a key role in clearance of the papillomas. CD8+ cells increased at the lowest rate and were at low levels in the papilloma epidermis even at mid-regression. All cell types decreased by late regression. CD11c+ and major histocompatibility class II+ cells were the last populations of cells to decrease in number.

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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Department of Comparative Medicine, Penn State College of Medicine, Hershey, Pennsylvania 2: The Jake Gittlen Cancer Research Foundation, Penn State College of Medicine, Hershey, Pennsylvania 3: The Jake Gittlen Cancer Research Foundation, Department of Microbiology and Immunology, Penn State College of Medicine, Hershey, Pennsylvania

Publication date: 2005-10-01

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  • Comparative Medicine (CM), an international journal of comparative and experimental medicine, is the leading English-language publication in the field and is ranked by the Science Citation Index in the upper third of all scientific journals. The mission of CM is to disseminate high-quality, peer-reviewed information that expands biomedical knowledge and promotes human and animal health through the study of laboratory animal disease, animal models of disease, and basic biologic mechanisms related to disease in people and animals.

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