Hematologic abnormalities similar to the preleukemic state of adult T-cell leukemia in African green monkeys naturally infected with simian T-cell leukemia virus

Noda, Y.; Ishikawa, K.; Sasagawa, A.; Honjo, S.; Mori, S.; Tsujimoto, H.; Hayami, M.

Japanese Journal of Cancer Research Gann 77(12): 1227-1234


ISSN/ISBN: 0910-5050
PMID: 2880832
Accession: 040260822

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Studies were made of the hematologic features of 23 adult African green monkeys (Cercopithecus aethiops) naturally infected with simian T-cell leukemia virus (STLV), which is closely related to human T-cell leukemia virus type I. None of the STLV-infected monkeys showed any clinical signs, but their absolute lymphocyte count and percentage of atypical lymphocytes were significantly higher than those of uninfected monkeys. Three STLV-infected monkeys had especially high percentages of atypical lymphocytes. Most of the atypical lymphocytes were small- or medium-sized lymphocytes with a lobulate or convoluted nucleus, and were very similar to the leukemic cells in human cases of adult T-cell leukemia (ATL), while other atypical cells were large lymphoblastoid cells. Both types of atypical cells were positive for Leu2a and Tac antigens, and expressed STLV antigen after short-term culture. These findings suggested the presence of a preleukemic state in these STLV-infected monkeys similar to that seen in human ATL, and indicated the value of this natural infection system as an animal model of ATL in humans.