Cytokine Dysregulation in Early- and Late-Term Placentas from Feline Immunodeficiency Virus (FIV)-Infected Cats


Karen S. Coats, Department of Biological Sciences, PO Box GY, Mississippi State, MS 39762, USA.


Citation Scott VL, Boudreaux CE, Lockett NN, Clay BT, Coats KS. Cytokine dysregulation in early- and late-term placentas from feline immunodeficiency virus (FIV)-infected Cats. Am J Reprod Immunol 2011; 65: 480–491

Problem  Experimental infection of cats with FIV-B-2542 produces high rates of fetal infection and reproductive failure. We hypothesized that dysregulation of placental cytokine expression occurs in FIV-infected queens, and aberrant expression potentiates inflammation and impacts pregnancy outcome. Our purpose was to quantify expression of representative pro-inflammatory cytokines (IL-6, IL-12p35, and IL-1β), IL-10 (anti-inflammatory), and the chemokine SDF-1α in early- and late-term placental tissues.

Method of study  Real-time reverse transcriptase PCR was used to measure gene expression in placental tissues.

Results  Increased expression of IL-6 and IL-12p35 and decreased expression of IL-10 occurred in FIV-infected tissues at early pregnancy; at late gestation, IL-6 expression increased and IL-1β and SDF-1α decreased. At late pregnancy, IL-6 expression positively correlated with FIV load. IL-12:IL-10 ratios were higher in infected tissues at early, but not late pregnancy. Fetal non-viability accompanied decreased IL-12p35 and SDF-1α expression at both stages and decreased IL-12:IL-10 ratio at late pregnancy.

Conclusion  FIV infection caused a pro-inflammatory placental microenvironment at early, but not late pregnancy.