Animal models for human T-lymphotropic virus type 1 (HTLV-1) infection and transformation

Michael D. Lairmore, Lee Silverman, Lee Ratner

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

57 Scopus citations


Over the past 25 years, animal models of human T-lymphotropic virus type 1 (HTLV-1) infection and transformation have provided critical knowledge about viral and host factors in adult T-cell leukemia/lymphoma (ATL). The virus consistently infects rabbits, some non-human primates, and to a lesser extent rats. In addition to providing fundamental concepts in viral transmission and immune responses against HTLV-1 infection, these models have provided new information about the role of viral proteins in carcinogenesis. Mice and rats, in particular immunodeficient strains, are useful models to assess immunologic parameters mediating tumor outgrowth and therapeutic invention strategies against lymphoma. Genetically altered mice including both transgenic and knockout mice offer important models to test the role of specific viral and host genes in the development of HTLV-1-associated lymphoma. Novel approaches in genetic manipulation of both HTLV-1 and animal models are available to address the complex questions that remain about viral-mediated mechanisms of cell transformation and disease. Current progress in the understanding of the molecular events of HTLV-1 infection and transformation suggests that answers to these questions are approachable using animal models of HTLV-1-associated lymphoma.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)6005-6015
Number of pages11
Issue number39
StatePublished - Sep 5 2005


  • Animal models
  • HTLV-1
  • Leukemia
  • Lymphoma


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