Infection by LP-BM5 murine leukemia virus (MuLV) produces and AIDS-like condition in mice. The viral infection suppressed the percentage of peripheral blood cells showing surface markers for macrophages, activated macrophages, T lymphocytes and activated lymphoid cells. High diatary vitamin A (retinyl palmitate) caused increased numbers of activated macrophages. It also increased the percentage of cells with markers for Ia+ cells and macrophages in the retrovirally infected mice compared to infected controls. In uninfected mice retinyl palmitate stimulated the percentage of cells with activated lymphocytes bearing IL-2R, and T cytotoxic cells. These were associated with a retarded death rate during infection with LP-BM5 murine leukemia in C57BL/6 mice. By 25 weeks of infection and 20 weeks of retinyl palmitate supplementation 71.3% survived, while 45.0% virally infected controls survived. The mice also had elevated numbers of B cells measured in the blood after 4 and 8 weeks of dietary treatment. Vitamin A stimulation may play a role in the slower death rate for retrovirally infected mice.
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