Marek's disease (MD) is a lymphoproliferative disease of chicken, which is characterized by malignant T cell-lymphoma formation. This disease can be effectively prevented by vaccination with attenuated MD virus (MDV), apathogenic MDV or herpesvirus of turkey. MD vaccines are ones of a few vaccines which can prevent virus-induced tumor among mammalian and avian species. To determine the roles of T cell subsets in the protection mechanism, chickens vaccinated with an attenuated MDV (CVI988) were depleted of either CD4+ or CD8+T cells by neonatal thymectomy and injections of monoclonal antibodies against chicken CD4 or CD8 molecules and then challenged with an oncogenic MDV. These birds were effectively protected from MDV-induced tumors. However, virus titers in CD4+T cells, which are the main target cells for MDV-latent infection and subsequent transformation, were much higher in CD8-deficient vaccinated chickens than in untreated vaccinated chickens at the early stage of the latent phase. These results suggested that CD8+T cell responses induced by the MD vaccine are essential for anti-virus but not anti-tumor effects. Here, we will discuss how the attenuated vaccine prevents chickens from lymphoma-formation by an oncogenic MDV.
1998 by the Japanese Society of Veterinary Science