Host genetic factors that control immune responses to retrovirus infections

Masaaki Miyazawa, Sachiyo Tsuji-Kawahara, Yasuyoshi Kanari

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

47 Citations (Scopus)


Several host genes control retroviral replication and pathogenesis. These include genes that directly affect the replication of retroviruses in target cells and those that control the host immune responses to the viral antigens. Host genetic factors that affect retroviral replication and immune responses to the viral antigens have been best studied in mouse models of Friend leukemia virus (FV) infection. Several genes located within the major histocompatibility complex (MHC), along with a separate gene not linked to the MHC, influence the host immune responses to FV antigens. The latter, the Rfv3, regulates the production of virus-neutralizing antibodies, and thus affects the duration of viremia. T-cell responses to the viral epitopes are controlled by MHC class I and class II genotypes, and both CD8+ and CD4+ T-cells are required for spontaneous immune resistance to FV infection. When CD4+ T-helper cells are efficiently primed with a viral epitope, however, CD8+ T-cells are not required for immune protection against FV infection, while B cells are absolutely required. There are individuals who possess human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1)-reactive IgA antibodies in their mucosal secretions and show strong T-cell responses to HIV-1 antigens, even though they are negative for HIV-1 genome and HIV-1-reactive serum IgG. These HIV-1-exposed but uninfected individuals rarely possess resistance-associated alleles at known AIDS-restricting loci such as CCR5Δ32. Recent genetic analyses have indicated that a large proportion of such exposed but uninfected individuals may share a common genetic background.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2981-2996
Number of pages16
Issue number24
Publication statusPublished - 2008 Jun 6
Externally publishedYes


  • Host gene
  • Immune response
  • Retrovirus

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Medicine
  • Immunology and Microbiology(all)
  • veterinary(all)
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Infectious Diseases


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