Immunosuppression in viral oncogenesis. III. Effects of virus infection on interleukin 1 and interleukin 2 generation and responsiveness. Academic Article uri icon


  • Malignant rabbit fibroma virus (MV) is an oncogenic immunosuppressive leporipoxvirus. We studied the effects of MV infection and MV-associated tumor-induced suppressor factor (TISF) on the production of and responsiveness to interleukins 1 and 2. Adherent cells from MV tumor-bearing rabbits elaborate adequate amounts of IL 1 in response to E. coli endotoxin. Neither live virus nor TISF alters the production or the responsiveness to IL 1. However, when we examined spleen cells from rabbits 7 days after MV inoculation, we noted that their ability to produce and respond to IL 2 is deficient. Despite their relatively poor capacity to produce IL 2, these spleen cells express receptor for IL 2 in normal amounts, as measured by the monoclonal antibody 7D4. TISF derived from T lymphocytes from MV tumor-bearing rabbits is by itself capable of inhibiting partially normal secretion of IL 2 and also the response of the cloned murine T cell line HT-2 to added IL 2. Full expression of the immunosuppressive capacity of spleen cells from MV tumor-bearing rabbits requires cell-cell contact, however, and cannot be replaced by either live virus or spleen cell supernatants. Such spleen cells inhibit normal mitogen responsiveness, a defect not remedied by adding exogenous IL 2. Immunologic dysfunction induced by MV infection is transient, and by 11 days after virus inoculation, actively mediated recovery from immunosuppression is observed. We found that spleen cells from rabbits studied 11 days postinoculation secreted IL 2 normally. Thus, immunologic dysfunction secondary to infection with malignant rabbit fibroma virus reflects deficiencies in both elaboration of and response to IL 2, and return of immune function later in the course of the infection is associated with return of the ability of lymphocytes to secrete IL 2.

published proceedings

  • J Immunol

author list (cited authors)

  • Strayer, D. S., Horowitz, M., & Leibowitz, J. L.

citation count

  • 9

complete list of authors

  • Strayer, DS||Horowitz, M||Leibowitz, JL

publication date

  • January 1986