PROTEASE ACTIVITY IN LYMPHOID ORGANS OF BALB/C AND C57BL/6 MICE FOLLOWING MURINE LEUKEMIA VIRUS INFECTION
Current HIV research uses murine leukemia virus (MuLV) as a mouse model. There are two strains of mice that are used for this study,BALB/c and C57 BL/6. Both strains of mice will be infected with the virus, but the BALB/c mice recover while the BL/6 mice become immunocompromised (MAIDS). Previous DNA microarray work comparing the two strains has shown that certain proteases are upregulated in the BALB/c mice, in the lymph nodes and spleen. Lymphatic remolding and cell activation are possible consequences of protease activity, and it is believe that the upregulation of these proteases in the BALB/c strain may be important for recovery. Using immunofluorescence and in situ zymography, visualization and quantification of protease activity in the lymph node of each strain was studied. This allowed for the fluorescent visualization of proteases within serial sections of the organ. Serial sections were stained for lymphatic (LYVE-1) and vascular (CD31) structures using primary and fluorescent secondary antibodies. This assisted in locating the proteases and revealing overall lymphatic morphology in conjunction with the protease location. Results suggest that there is an increase in protease activity in C57BL/6 mouse strain when compared to BALB/c mouse strain in the lymph nodes. Furthermore, immunofluorescent data shows an increase in the vascular and lymphatic branching within the C57BL/6 lymph nodes.