By using T1 oligonucleotide fingerprinting and mapping techniques, we analyzed the genomic structure of retroviruses produced by thymocytes and splenocytes of reciprocal bone marrow- and thymus-grafted chimeras. We found that the genetic factor(s) derived from NZB mice that suppresses the development of thymic leukemia in (AKR x NZB)F1 mice also prevents the formation of recombinant leukemogenic viruses and the expression of preleukemic changes in the (AKR x NZB)F1 thymocytes. The NZB mouse gene or genes appeared to exert this suppressive effect by acting on the thymic reticuloepithelial cells and not on the thymic lymphocytes of (AKR x NZB)F1 hybrids. Prospective studies with thymic epithelial grafts from young mice showed that the AKR thymic epithelium could mediate the formation and expression of leukemogenic recombinant viruses and preleukemic changes in thymocytes that lead to the development of thymic leukemia, whereas the (AKR x NZB)F1 thymic epithelium was deficient in this regard. Our results also confirmed a previous observation that during in vivo generation of recombinant leukemogenic viruses, the acquisition of polytropic virus-related sequences in the 3' portion of the p15E gene and the U3 region and in the 5' part of the gp70 gene can occur independently.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Insect Science