Placental immunopathology and pregnancy failure in the FIV-infected cat

C. C. Weaver, S. C. Burgess, P. D. Nelson, M. Wilkinson, P. L. Ryan, C. A. Nail, K. A. Kelly-Quagliana, M. L. May, R. K. Reeves, C. R. Boyle, K. S. Coats

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

36 Scopus citations


Placental HIV infections frequently result in infected babies or miscarriage. Aberrant placental cytokine expression during HIV infections may facilitate transplacental viral transmission or pregnancy perturbation. The feline immunodeficiency virus (FIV)-infected cat is a model for HIV infections due to similarities in biology and clinical disease. The purpose of this study was to evaluate placental immunomodulator expression and reproductive outcome using the FIV-infected cat model. Kittens were cesarean delivered from FIV-B-2542-infected and control queens near term; placental and fetal tissues were collected. Real-time RT-PCR was used to measure expression of representative placental Th1 cytokines, interleukin-1β (IL-1β) and interferon-γ (IFN-γ), a Th2 cytokine, IL-10, and chemokine receptor CXCR4. On average, control queens delivered 3.8 kittens/litter; 1 of 31 kittens (3.2%) was non-viable. FIV-infected queens produced 2.7 kittens/litter; 15 of 25 concepti (60%) were non-viable. FIV was detected in 14 of 15 placentas (93%) and 21 of 22 fetuses (95%) using PCR. Placental immunomodulator expression did not differ significantly when placentas from infected cats were compared to those of control cats. However, elevated expression of Th1 cytokines and increased Th1/Th2 ratios (IL-1β/IL-10) occurred in placentas from resorptions. Therefore, increased placental Th1 cytokine expression was associated with pregnancy failure in the FIV-infected cat.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)138-147
Number of pages10
Issue number2-3
StatePublished - Feb 2005

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Reproductive Medicine
  • Obstetrics and Gynecology
  • Developmental Biology


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